Wednesday, October 14, 2015

College Degrees

If this weren't significant somehow, there wouldn't be an article about it.  I don't know what this signals regarding changes in our society, but it seems patently obvious to me that it does represent a societal change:
Women have out-enrolled men at the undergraduate level in the US since the late 1970s, but only in the past year has the percentage of women with a bachelor’s degree in the US surpassed the percentage of men with one. In 2014, 32% of women in the US had attainted a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 31.9% of men, according to data from the US Census Bureau.


Sandy said...

Our son, a high school junior, was recently invited to attend a seminar for potential applicants to our state's prestigious Governor's Scholar Program. I remarked to my husband that the boys seemed significantly outnumbered by the girls. This observation was confirmed by the speaker, who said that the percentage of boys to girls in the program is normally about 40/60. We discussed some possible reasons for this societal trend: my husband thinks that the video game culture has seduced this generation of young men by allowing them to channel their natural competitiveness and creativity into a relatively passive activity. I believe it's also a reflection of the emphasis on equality for girls-- which has, unfortunately, taken place at the expense of our boys-- as well as the pressure to begin formal academics at younger and younger ages. Developmentally, boys are just not ready as early as girls, and many experience academic failure early on. Our current model of education is weighted toward the girls.

Ellen K said...

The current educational model that emphasizes group work and collaboration goes against the hardwiring of most boys. Boys are more likely to be labeled as ADHD, learning disabled, behaviorally impaired, at risk or any of the other alphabet soup of lettered jargon. What is more topics that used to be reserved for first grade, such as reading, are now pushed down as far as the Pre-K levels, which favors girls who develop tracking abilities much earlier. In the bad old days of the USSR, their researchers found that boys often do not develop this psychological maturity until nearly seven years old and as a result banned teaching reading until all children were seven. I also think using electronic media exposes children to a constantly moving image. Children have no words for eye strain, they simply know that reading gives them a headache. Technology is not the end all and be all in education, yet too often educational entities will give you computers before they will give you paper. All of this sets boys up to fail. If they were doing this to girls, there would be outrage. As it is, parents of boys too often blame the kid first and don't realize how the system sets up their failure.