Do you notice a change in the performance between boys and girls in school? Are girls excelling while boys are relaxing? Girls are doing better than boys academically; according to an Economist article. The question is, are we facing a “boy crisis” when it comes to education? A situation probably unheard of and unimaginable is now happening; where girls are more likely to do better and to go further in their education than boys. Until the 1960s boys spent longer and went further in school than girls; and were more likely to graduate from university. In just a couple of generations, one gender gap has closed; only for another to open up.
What is Happening?
- Boys do not seem as interested in education compared to girls and some boys do not think it is cool to be smart and do well in school.
- What seems to be fact, based on research is that girls are staying in school, getting better grades, and are also enrolling for more typically male-dominated courses.
- Boys are jeered at and made fun of socially if they do take on activities that are known to enhance education such as music, art, and drama according to Time.
- Girls spend more time doing school work and reading for pleasure while boys seem to spend more time glued to screens and video games.
According to a report published on March 5th by the OECD, a Paris-based rich-country think-tank, girls are outperforming boys when it comes to reading and literacy. The study puts weight on reading and literacy because this is the basis for further learning. The average 15-year-old girl devotes five-and-a-half hours a week to homework; an hour more than the average boy, who spends more time playing video games and trawling the internet. Reading rates are falling everywhere as screens draw eyes from pages. All factors adding to the boy crisis.
Only a few decades ago men more men were enrolled in higher institutions; we are seeing a boom worldwide with an increase in women’s enrollment almost twice as fast as men’s. Women who go to university are more likely than their male peers to graduate, and typically get better grades. The reality is that with birth control, having children later, and having fewer children more women are being educated and are joining the workforce. Rising divorce rates and unmarried women is encouraging women to decide that they must be able to fend for themselves. These days girls nearly everywhere seem more ambitious than boys, both academically and in their careers.
What to do
So what can we do as parents and teachers? We need to increase the standard and expectations for boys and girls equally. We should not perpetuate reverse discrimination where girls are pushed to excel in their academics to guarantee a future where they can earn while boys are seemingly ignored.
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