Skip to comments.The Genius Gap (Are Boys the Second Sex?)
Posted on 06/08/2010 11:32:41 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Whats happening to the boy genius? Outside of fantasy fiction, he seems to be a shrinking breed. New Yorks gifted-and-talented schools are overstocked with girls, a recent Times study found. In some gifted classrooms, three-fifths of the students are female. Yes, we know girls are smart and dutiful and hardworking, but this phenomenon confounds whats long been considered the natural order. Could it really be that boys are now the struggling class, in need of help or affirmative action?
Experts have been warning about the boy crisis for years, but the idea has never really taken holdpartly because it originated as a crusade of the anti-feminist right. (Christina Hoff Sommers introduced it as a culture-war issue with her book The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.) Yet empirical evidence continues to mount that boys, as a class, may no longer have what it takes to succeed in school.
For at least a decade, a subtle shift has been happening in the educational system that seems to be working against boys, who tend to be later verbal bloomers. New initiatives have emphasized more literacy skills in preschool, long before boys are ready. And early standardized testingnow the normsets up boys to see themselves as academic failures. To apply for a gifted program, children as young as 4 are required to sit through hour-long verbal exams. The patience and communication skills required all play to the strengths of girls.
It doesnt take a degree in child psychology to see whats happening here, says Richard Whitmire, author of the new book Why Boys Fail. A test heavy on verbal skills aimed at the very early grades is going to turn up more girls than boys. Im surprised the gifted gender gaps arent larger.
Whitmires book is full of anecdotes of honors classes full of girls, from elementary school on up. He blames a regime that fixates on preparing children for college starting in kindergarten. Why are they testing for gifted that early? he asks. Its not intentional bias, but the same question applies here as with race: Do you judge bias by outcome? If so, yes, this is bias.
To be fair, boys do tend to catch up to their female peers on both math and verbal test scores by high school. New Yorks eight gifted high schoolsStuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, etc.have more boys enrolled than girls. But these particular statistics fail to capture the broader new reality for boys and men in the U.S.: They are less likely to graduate from high school and less likely to get a college degree.
Australia, New Zealand, and other countries have national initiatives to address the boy crisisproviding male teachers, boy-centric reading material, and lessons in technology. Here, educators have tried the occasional experimentsingle-sex classes, for examplebut they are resistant to the idea that boys, in a nation still ruled by men, are really in trouble. But as Whitmire likes to point out, this is a future problem: Men not achieving in school means men not going to college means men with no job prospects means men rejected as suitable marriage prospects by smarty-pants girls.
its the war on boys.
an equally smart boy and girl will have the system pick the girl to “make up” for some fantasy wrong.
Actually the reason is that we’re drugging our bright with drugs so idiots don’t feel bad about themselves. All about self esteem dontcha know?
I have observed that women have an extremely difficult time rising above mediocrity.
Harrison Bergeron must be stopped.
Or we could say it without blaming the victim: schools no longer have what it takes to succeed in teaching boys.
Blaming the messenger even after admitting "social justice" quotas may play a part in this disparity.
The so-called feminist movement is NOT pro-woman. NOW defended a serial rapist who was accused of workplace sexual harassment, supports infanticide, defends planned parenthood (who hide details about minors who are sexually molested by adults)...
Calling the socialist "feminist" movement a women's movement is a lie. It is Communist. It comes out of the Soviet "women's movement" (International Women's Day, etc.), not the sufferage movement (which had a Republican background).
Probably due to the pussification of the boys in our public schools.
Boys are not a "class", they are a sex/gender. But then that means it would be discriminatory to single them out for mistreatment...
That and boys aren’t allowed to be boys nor do they have all that many good role models.
I have noticed in our GT schools that selection is based on numbers. A certain % boy, girl, race, ethnicity etc... They want the GT school/classes to “look” just like the other regular schools and classes. Even in elementary school, the “higher” math and science classes are manipulated to be “even”. So, a student may be put into a “lower” class than he is suited for if his race/sex/ethnicity is already represented by %. Been there, still there, bought the t-shirt And sent the post card on this one.
Harrison Bergeron must be stopped.
Required reading for everyone
Call out the equality of everything cops, now
Get his chains ready.
Hanna is gonna tell us how boys aren’t gifted ...
Most of the teachers these days are women who also happen to be NEA union members. I’d say 90 percent of the teachers today lean Left. It’s similar to the percentage of those who lean Left that work in the LSM.
Could it really be that boys are now the struggling class, in need of help or affirmative action?
Yeah since y’all attacked them unmercifully for 20 odd years.
They don’t need affirmative action but they need to be left to be boys.
Idiots caused this problem even when they were warned they were doing so.
The war on boys is just a battle in the war on men.
And I am disgusted with it.
Put your own damn seat down.
During this period of history where we are still skimming the cream off the top of the non-European countries, this is the wrong thing to do!
Perhaps women have always been smarter. Who knows? Women being encouraged in their intellectual pursuits is only a 100 year old phenomenon.
I think the more likely explanation is that the last few generations of intelligent have had more girls than boys. Hence the higher current number of female geniuses. It is proably random and incidental.
Plus the fact that in America we tend to love our daughters and don’t abort them as in other (Eastern) cultures, which also skews the data.
Next you will know they are Socialists if they start calling it “the struggle”, which has been the phrase used by Leftists since Hitler’s Mein Kampf onward...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.