September 15 2013

Why Johnny Doesn't Want to Go to College...

Charlotte Hays

Christina Hoff Sommers outlines in The Atlantic a number of ways schools can be made more hospitable to boys. First requirement for helping boys: admit that  they aren't faring well in schools and colleges. Hoff Sommers writes:   

Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates. College admissions officers were at first baffled, then concerned, and finally panicked over the dearth of male applicants.

If male enrollment falls to 40 percent or below, female students begin to flee. Officials at schools at or near the tipping point (American University, Boston University, Brandeis University, New York University, the University of Georgia, and the University of North Carolina, to name only a few) are helplessly watching as their campuses become like retirement villages, with a surfeit of women competing for a handful of surviving men.

 Henry Broaddus, dean of admissions at William and Mary, explains the new anxiety: “[W]omen who enroll … expect to see men on campus. It’s not the College of Mary and Mary; it’s the College of William and Mary.” …

What can we do to improve the prospects of boys? For one thing, we must acknowledge the fact that boys and girls are different. In many education and government circles, it remains taboo to broach the topic of sex differences.

Many gender scholars insist that the sexes are cognitively interchangeable and argue that any talk of difference only encourages sexism and stereotyping. In the current environment, to speak of difference invites opprobrium, and to advocate for male-specific interventions invites passionate and organized opposition. Meanwhile, one gender difference refuses to go away: Boys are languishing academically, while girls are soaring.

I urge you to read the piece.  

I also urge you to attend this week’s IWF-National Review panel that will explore the question of whether there is a war on women (as the Obama campaign so effectively maintained) or a war on boys (as Christina argues). Christina is on the panel along with IWF’s Sabrina Schaeffer, Fox’s and the Daily Beast’s Kirsten Powers, and Judy Bachrach of Vanity Fair. Place: The Decatur House. Wine and cheese and plenty of stimulating conversation. So join us.

 

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