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...
Geez, I really struggled typing that paragraph.
Niuhuru nailed it.
True-there are not that many female Einstein’s and concomitantly, fewer women with severe mental issues.
It’s not just boys now. There is a whole generation of women that either despise men or feel that men are only here to bust their ass to make their life easier, depending which hormone is in charge that day.
As always, these are mostly liberal women, so if you are a woman reading this and you aren’t offended, it probably doesn’t mean you. If you are, well, the shoe just might fit.
That’s the trouble with empiricism. The empirical evidence showed that black slaves were ignorant and incapable of functioning in our society as free men.
Doesn’t explain the radical disparity.
I think girls are more dutiful to study, which enables a larger cohort to get to, and graduate, from college as well. As the most successful and smart people tend to bear children later in life, this (in my opinion) also makes them more likely to have girl children. I have noticed this among horses as well-the older the mare, the more likely she is to have fillies. Nature’s way of replacing themselves, I guess.
No, that alone does not explain it, but I made other points in my initial post.
Basically, I believe it is probably random.
Probably less than 90%. Probably closer to 70%. In 1992, 40% of NEA members voted for George H.W. Bush. It bcame a matter of controvrsy at the convention that year that close to 90% of all contributions went to Democratic candidates. That was because the national board was solidly Democratic.
On the other hand, the reigning philosophy in public education is progressivism. Education is equated with social engineering.
If boys mature more slowly and aren’t prepared for or in need of enriched classes until they are older, I don’t see the problem. The point of such classes is to better teach those for whom the regular coursework is too easy. (And if boys dominate at the level of graduate physics classes, as I belIeve they do, I don’t see the problem there either.)
Exactly. What critics of IQ differences usually focus on is the conclusion that there are fewer really, really, really smart women out there. They forget that there are also fewer really, really, really dumb ones too.
There are far fewer good male role models at schools anymore. They’ve drummed out virtually all the normal, male teachers under a number of schemes and reasons. They need to see and be taught and have respect for good male role models embodied in teachers.
I thank God I went through school in the years I did. Lots of guy teachers in all subjects, worth respecting back then.
Depends on what one means by genius. Terman’s geniuses included no Einsteins.
We aim to please.
30 years ago when girls weren’t succeeding in school it was “fix the schools!” Now that boys aren’t succeeding in school it’s “fix the boys!”
(not original with me)
And we have a winnahhhh!
Step right up, sonny, and claim your prize:
And intellectual exploration of exactly how RIGHT you are.
First, the History Tour.
Then, the Underground History Tour.
Once you complete both you will be able to clearly see how it has come to be that "Public Education" may well be a greater evil than complete ignorance. As bad as it is considered to be, at least ignorance doesn't exploit, deride, and defile the innocence of children.
When females take over a profession, the males flee.
Or a genius boy will get bored and antsy, then be stuck on Ritalin “for acting like a boy.”
Then he won’t be a genius any more.
I ALWAYS put the lid down. Looks 10 times better and toddlers and pets don't fall in.
To me it's not about the seat, I'd rather you put the lid down the way I do for the reasons given and the seat will take care of itself.
I am also the only woman I know who consistently defends treating boys like boys and not like women in training. I am particulary vocal with one of my sons, who is a teacher, because I know he is under a lot of pressure from the feminized education system to treat boys like girls. He doesn't, but I want him to know that not all women think that way.
Men and women are different from each other - not better or worse. Those different skills and aptitudes should be encouraged and developed not smothered because too many women can't see how much men bring to the table.
Hahah - that bit of Vonnegut scifi came to mind to me too reading this.
“the feminized education system to treat boys like girls.”
This is exactly what I see - my son says he hates to read, but the crap they want him to read in school is, just that, crap. He loves to read his SI for kids, he loves to read the “Bone” series (which is discouraged at school because it’s a “comic-book-type” series). Amazing, when he starts to read something that’s interesting...he actually enjoys it.
The long school day (with lots of non-learning going on) plus homework is ridiculous for boys who want to go out and play, which is what boys (and girls) should be doing.
In their effort to make education more girl friendly, they changed subjects that boys were strong in - math and science.
Take a look at the textbooks - what used to be number problems are now ‘word’ problems - and girls have always been early readers. I realized the problem when it took my son ten minutes to figure out the name of the tribe that was collecting a certain kind of bean (of course that was part of the multi-cultural connection, which adds $$$ to price of textbooks).
In english classes, comprehension tests are based on paragraphs of nonsense that I’ve had a tough time trying to figure out what they were looking for - and english/reading were the only subjects I was reallllly good at! It’s all touchy feely nonsense. Boys start to fail, get pushed into vo-tec classes. If they actually make it to college, things start to turn around in the math/science fields where boys excel. The trick is to get them thru high school.
A consequence of socialism.
You base 70 percent on your own experience in the public eduction field?
Meanwhile the Chinese roll out the red carpet for their gifted and bright.
Actually, that IS the distribution -
female geniuses, and idiots, are rarer
than male geniuses and idiots.
The IQ distribution curve is fatter in the middle for females
than for males.
Institutionalize schooling just doesn’t work for boys, for the most part.
Some would rather read while hanging upside down off the arm of the couch.
|...if boys dominate at the level of graduate physics classes, as I belIeve they do, I dont see the problem there either.
You're right, they do. What you'll never hear unless you look into it for yourself is that the vast majority of these are 'boys' from other countries, principally India and China. Do not be fooled: the boys in this country are being deliberately dumbed down by social engineers who are fashioning what they believe will be a feminist utopia. The slots in the graduate physics programs are going to Indians and Chinese males because our students -- male or female -- cannot compete. Other countries do not deliberately dumb down their male children. We do.
A lot of people around here were surprised that Socialists could form a voting majority in the United States in 2008, by getting the recently-educated to the polls. People just don't want to believe that the schools are as Orwellian as they are.
This isn't going to change. People don't really want to believe it, and ultimately they don't care. It'll be 20 or 30 years before the fact that all the advances in the hard sciences are taking place elsewhere comes back to bite us. By then, it'll be too late.