Skip to comments.Biology’s Revenge (Christina Hoff Sommers was right.)
Posted on 01/24/2006 8:39:41 AM PST by neverdem
January 24, 2006,
Christina Hoff Sommers was right.
The surest way to get attention in American society is to become a crisis. Boys are now on their way to achieving this dubious but indispensable distinction with the new cover of Newsweek, "The Boy Crisis."
It is to be hoped that the crisis establishes a simple truth that is astonishing anyone ever forgot boys and girls are different. Or as Newsweek puts it, "Boys are biologically, developmentally and psychologically different from girls and teachers need to learn how to bring out the best in every one."
A crisis always needs its own politically correct argot. A neurologist quoted in Newsweek takes a step toward establishing one here with his statement, "Very well-meaning people have created a biologically disrespectful model of education." Thus, the boy-in-crisis has a rallying cry, "Don't disrespect my biology!"
That's what has been happening for years. Feminists have wanted to believe that, given the right socialization, boys would give up their stubborn fascination with earth-moving equipment. As someone once said, "You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your facts." Similarly, you can have your opinion about what gender should be, but you can't have your own brain chemistry. Newsweek notes how in the womb, the brain of a male fetus is bathed with testosterone.
As any parent knows, that makes him different from a girl. If pedagogy systematically ignores those differences, it will be a disaster. Newsweek recounts the indices: Boys are twice as likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities than girls in elementary school; the number of boys professing a dislike of school has risen 71 percent from 1980 to 2001; men constitute 44 percent of undergraduates on college campuses, down from 58 percent 30 years ago.
If school overemphasizes sitting quietly and language skills; if recess is eliminated; if discipline is eroded; if the books feature consciousness-raising instead of action-packed narrative then boys will be bored, disaffected and disruptive. Classrooms have to be made more boy-friendly with more discipline, more competition and more activity so that boys are no longer treated, as one expert put it to Newsweek, "like defective girls."
A reason for this latest crisis is that just as girls had begun to pull even with boys in the 1990s, feminists hyped a crisis over girls doing poorly in school that caused an overreaction harmful to boys. One of the chief culprits was scholar Carol Gilligan, who is given space in Newsweek to address the boy crisis. She writes disapprovingly, "For some, the trouble boys are having with schools becomes grounds for reinstituting traditional codes of manhood, including a return to the patriarchal family." It is clear, however, that patriarchy is exactly what many boys need lots of patriarchy, up close and personal.
"One of the most reliable predictors of whether a boy will succeed or fail in high school," Newsweek reports, "rests on a single question: Does he have a man in his life to look up to?" It continues: "An increasing number of boys now a startling 40 percent are being raised without biological dads. Psychologists say that grandfathers and uncles can help, but emphasize that an adolescent boy without a father figure is like an explorer without a map."
Other educational theorists argue that boys would be fine if they could be made more touchy-feely. But Christina Hoff Sommers, who wrote the prescient The War Against Boys five years ago, calls boys "the last of a vanishing breed of Americans who don't want to spend a lot of time talking about their feelings." Instead of trying to change that, we should accept boys for who they are.
What we have witnessed recently with more evidence of the differences between men and women, and the importance of the old-fashioned two-parent family is biology's revenge. If we deny what is deep-down in our nature, people get hurt in this case, the rambunctious boys missing out on the great adventure that is learning.
Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years.
(c) 2006 King Features Syndicate
They're talkin' about this now on Laura Ingraham's show.
Christina is on Laura Ingrham right now.
Even the feminazis know this, deep down in their shriveled hearts. Instead of accepting it, they deny it, but that doesn't stop them from trying to turn boys into girls. If there was no perceived difference, there would be no reason to try to effect a change...
Amen and amen.
Was it taped? Where's it being broadcast from? Her show isn't broadcast until 8 PM on WABC-AM in NYC.
Having seen what has happened to my nephews (raised by liberal, well meaning parents), I can see that she was right on the money. There really is a boy crisis, its a cultural problem on several levels....
Yet another pitfall of government-run one-size-fits-all primary education.
Oh Noes! I know! Let's throw money at it, and see if the problem goes away!
well, when you going to give it up>?
An articel from a few months ago describes how various toys were given to certain monkey children to play with. The female monkey children played nurtuting roles with dolls. The male mokey children were fascinated by topy cars and truck. Also the boys played mock fighting with their toys, the females didn't. It seems what the feminist call 'gender roles' are really hardwired into primates, including us.
I read Christina Hoff Sommers book years ago and it was clear that she was right. All one had to do is look at the gradution rates and see there was something out of whack. This was apparent by the early 90's, when these numbers were solid.
I have admired Hoff Summers writing and opinions since I read her book " Who Stole Feminism".
Given the "right socialization", Western societies will stop to reproduce and will be replaced by the others. Feminism is as deadly as Bolshevism was.
Slowly but surely we can right the ship of education in this country. What it will take it the expurgation of the 60's hippie crowd and all of their acolytes.
Actualy, feminism is worse. It only takes longer.
This biological characteristic is so deep and universal that you can see it in lower species of mammals.
Once in the pet store I was watching the cages with male rats and female rats. The difference was striking, male rats were playfully wrestling and competing. Female rats were quietly looking around or grooming one another.
You are quite right. Lack of 'violent' toys never stops little boys from improvising them and using their imaginations.
I'm just amazed that this was published in Newsweek.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
It will be harder to ignore.
"First lady Laura Bush and a growing number of physicians, educators and psychologists say Americans need to wake up and see that boys lag far behind girls in school, and then demand that something be done."
We still laugh about that one!
Try telling this to Larry Summers, the president of Harvard, after the Feminazis release him from the re-education camp!
To be factual, they always did perceive a difference. Where they erred was in stating, with no factual basis for the claim, that the differences were cultural, and not biological. Thus, the set out trying to change the culture, to prove themselves right. They succeeded in changing the culture, but in the final analysis were wrong as to the cause of the differences. Reversing this error is going to take time, time that alas, we may not have...
Christina Hoff Sommers ping.
Ever been shot with a Barbie? :)