January 19, 2006

Boys are dumb. Throw rocks at them.

Kevin Drum points to this article in The New Republic examining the so-called gender gap in education—essentially, boys are falling behind in reading and verbal skills. The culprit? Either a bad curriculum pandering to the fairer sex, or a higher density of neurons in the female temporal lobe cortex.

The problem this article presents—that boys are faring progressively worse in school—is genuine, and is genuinely perplexing, but some of the solutions this article comes up with are laughable—more boy-friendly reading material and less emphasis on turning assignments in on time—as are the freak-outs by men scared for the future: "I heard nothing but heels clicking," says one distressed father at a National Honor Society induction.

Up goes the cry of social conservatives: Dear God, let us judge entirely on merits, but O Lord, not yet. Not while my son is trying to get into college.

I don't know, it seems interesting to me that the focus of this article is that boys are doing so much worse than girls rather than just that boys are doing poorly. Let us by all means improve boys' scores, but shouldn't we see girls' improvement and greater confidence over the past few years as a positive thing?

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU. I don't know how Ed 20 is being taught these days, but back in mine, the part of the course that studied disparate treatment of students based on gender focused almost exclusively on boys "falling behind." How about girls "catching up?" It's about fucking time.

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