In American schools, boys are underachieving and girls are excelling. This gender gap in academic achievement is evident as early as kindergarten. The longer students are in school, the wider the gap becomes.
Boys are more likely than girls to earn poor grades, be held back a grade, have a learning disability, form a negative attitude toward school, drop out or get suspended or expelled.
The education gender gap is affecting colleges, the workforce, the marriage rate and the fatherlessness rate in America.
Women outnumber men in college by 4 to 3. Four decades ago, men outnumbered women in college by 4 to 3. The tipping point occurred in the late 1970s. Not only are men less likely than women to go to college, they’re also less likely to graduate once there. Among 25-to-29-year-olds, 33 percent of women have earned at least a bachelor’s degree compared with just 23 percent of men. This is the first generation of women to be more educated than their male counterparts.
This shift means that women will increasingly get the highly paid jobs while men will experience a drop in earnings. This is already happening. Men in their 30’s are the first generation to earn significantly less than their fathers’ generation did at the same age. As jobs that require little education increasingly shrink, more and more men will become unemployed.
As the gap continues to grow, fewer college-educated women are able to find college-educated men to marry. Many of these women are choosing not to marry at all rather than marry non-college-educated men who are likely to earn significantly less than they do.
This is not to say that college-educated women and non-college-educated men never get married. But these marriages tend not to last. Marriages are more likely to end in divorce when wives earn more than their husbands.
This is increasingly becoming a problem. Thirty years ago, wives earned more than their husbands in 16 percent of marriages. Now it’s 25 percent and continuing to rise. By 2050, nearly half of the married women will earn more than their husbands.
The rise in the number of single American women has given birth to another trend: the rise in single motherhood. The non-marital birth rate rose sharply from 18 percent in 1980 to 39 percent in 2006. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, this trend is not being fueled by teenage mothers but by women in their 30s and 40s.
The National Center for Fathering found that 72 percent of Americans think that fatherlessness is the most significant social problem facing our nation. America is the world’s leader in fatherless families.
I tried to think of a “balance” for this, but I can’t think of any way that the schools discriminate against girls.