Boys and Young Men: A New Cause

From the archives of Psychology TodayBoys and Young Men: A New Cause for Liberals by Mark Sherman in 2010.

Even today, when someone writes about the way boys are lagging behind girls, he or she often talks about it as if it just started happening.  For example, in a Times oped piece published on March 27 of [2010], Nicholas Kristof, who has written extensively on the problems of girls and women in developing countries, says: 

“Around the globe, it’s mostly girls who lack educational opportunities.  Even in the United States, many people still associate the educational “gender gap” with girls left behind in math. Yet these days, the opposite problem has snuck up on us:  In the United States and other western countries alike, it’s mostly boys who are faltering in school.  The latest surveys show that American girls on the average have roughly achieved parity with boys in math.  Meanwhile, girls are well ahead of boys in verbal skills, and they just seem to try harder.”

I must admit that when I read this, and saw the words “snuck up on us,” my immediate reaction was “Where have you been?”  For anyone who cared to look at the data – and for millions of parents of sons – the problem was already there close to two decades ago.

The entire article is here.

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