AAUW: 'Boy crisis' is a myth

The “boy crisis” in schools is a myth, concludes a study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which argued in the ’90s that girls needed more attention. Grades and test scores for boys have remained the same or improved, the AAUW says, even if girls have made larger gains. The real crisis is low performance by low-income, black and Hispanic students, the report argues.

All this echoes a 2006 Education Sector report.

It’s fair to argue that girls’ academic gains haven’t come at the expense of boys, but it’s troubling to see a widening achievement gap. Girls earn higher grades in high school. Overall, 57 percent of college graduates are female.

Black girls are doing much, much better in school than black boys; Hispanic girls also outperform Hispanic boys. There really is a black-Hispanic boy crisis.

Focusing more on the learning needs of boys isn’t necessarily bad for girls.

Update: Inside Higher Ed has more on reaction to the AAUW report.

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  1. I don’t get it…

    Boys are improving, Girls improving faster = no crisis

    Minorities improving, Whites improving faster = crisis

    Standardized tests = bad, unreliable if they show racial/ethnic achievement gap

    Standardized tests = not bad, unreliable if they show boys and girls relatively equal

    Grades = important for college

    Grades = unimportant for measuring gender gap

  2. This is shocking. Shocking! A women’s organization in the most left-wing area of society marginalizes the troubles of boys.

    In other news, the sun once again rose in the East this morning and is expected to set in the West.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Come on — we need a real study on this. Facts are more black males end up in MIP Conduct that do not belong there, more black males get disciplined, etc…

    Heck at my son’s academic honors program the vast majority, heck it was a super majority of academic winners were girls. This is at a private school.

    When does the pendulum swing back to focus more on the boys?

  4. It is interesting to see that the GPA increases (11.6% for girls and 10.4% for boys) translate to a 27.7% growth in the gap over a 15 year period. Given the lower graduation rates for boys, it would seem a logical assumption that at least some of the lowest achieving boys are not included because they leave school, so their GPA may represent some degree of selection that the girls sample does not, increasing the boys value in the study beyond what is actually seen in schools. That would seem to be a topic that deserves some additional investigation. Even more, the other measures (NAEP, SAT, ACT) do not support the increase in GPA. I know that’s a different question for a different study. What’s interesting is that the disparate/proportional outcomes that are made so often in gender discussions when women feel they are being discriminated against are absent from this study, where those comparisons would not favor women.

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Time for Black and Hispanic boys to learn that “Macho” and gang membership is the antithesis of manly.

  6. If you want to understand why the boys are behaving as they are, look closely at what the girls are doing and the messages they are sending. You can’t solve the “boy crisis” without also figuring out the girls.

    It’s a human problem and a community problem.

  7. BadaBing says:

    There is a boy crisis regardless of what a bunch of feminazis think. Women run the district where I teach, and women choose the books kids read in my department. Women run education, and education in this country is geared for girls.

  8. Richard Aubrey says:

    In any other matchup, the differential in outcomes would be considered outrageous and perfect proof of the evils of the white patriarchy.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I have seen way fewer expectations placed on boys in my DD’s schools, both public & private by parents. When I was growing up (way back in the dark ages) parents placed high expectations on their sons. Its seems as it is a combination of poor parenting and way too many ABSENTEE FATHERS! As to women running public ed, even in my parents time (pre-WWII), most of the elementary teachers were women.

  10. Judge Rufus Peckham says:

    Girls are further ahead of boys now than boys were ahead of girls in 1992 when there supposedly was a “girl crisis.” Yet, there’s no “boy crisis,” right? In 1970, there were 1.5 million more men than women in higher education and women complained that this was a crisis. Now there are 2.7 million MORE women than men in higher education, and the feminists assert that this is not a crisis.

    Instead, they divert our attention with an issue EVERYBODY knows is a problem and always has been a problem in education: race.

    In short, the feminist education agenda does NOT care about our sons — how sad that they would throw an entire gender under the bus for the sake of some political agenda. I suppose if they admitted there was a “boy crisis,” they really would be out of business.

    Well, there IS a boy crisis, and they can, of course, go to hell.

  11. Judge Rufus Peckham says:

    P.S.: Elizabeth, as for absentee fathers, blames our mothers, who initiate 70 percent of the divorces, often for financial gain from child custody awards.

    As for the expectations on the boys — that’s a very politically correct, but immoral stance to take. When boys were out-achieving girls, everyone said, “There’s a problem with the school.” Now that boys have fallen behind, you and others say, “There’s a problem with the boy.”

    If men had suggested in 1992 that too little was expected of girls, we would have been figuratively castrated by the feminists. Why the double-standard?


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