From The National Review Online. Read more HERE
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What’s the war on boys?
CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS: It’s more like a war of attrition. No one wakes up in the morning thinking, “What horrible thing can I do to boys today?” But boys and young men have been massively neglected. Women in the U.S. today earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates. When an education-policy analyst looked at current trends in higher education he quipped, only half in jest, “The last male will graduate from college in 2068.”
There was an immense and much-celebrated effort to strengthen girls in areas where they languished behind boys. The Title IX anti-discrimination law has been used to close the sports gap. In the mid-Nineties, Congress passed the Gender Equity Act, categorizing girls as an “under-served population” on par with other discriminated-against minorities. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to improve girls’ achievement in sports, math, and science. Today, it is boys who need help. But so far Congress and the Department of Education have looked the other way.
LOPEZ: This has been a theme of yours for a while. Has it gotten better or worse?
SOMMERS: Simon & Schuster asked me to update and revise the 2000 edition of The War Against Boys precisely because the plight of boys is worsening. A recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research documents a remarkable trend among high-achieving students: In the 1980s, nearly the same number of top male and female high-school students said they planned to pursue a postgraduate degree. By the 2000s, 27 percent of girls expressed that ambition, compared with 16 percent of boys. But it’s the declining social and educational prospects of working-class and poor white, Latino, and African-American young men that is most dismaying. A 2011 Brookings Institution study describes how millions of poorly educated young men have been “unhitched from the engine of growth.” As the United States moves toward a knowledge-based economy, school achievement has become the cornerstone of lifelong success. Young women are adapting; young men are not.