Gender gap

Schools aren’t well suited to boys, says Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, in Gender Gap, an Education Next interview.  Gender roles still limit girls, especially in math and science, responds Susan McGee Bailey of the Wellesley Centers for Women, principal author of the 1992 AAUW report How Schools Shortchange Girls.

Dropout and graduation rates, grades, and many test scores show boys are lagging, says Whitmire.

(Males) go to college at lower rates and then graduate at lower rates. . . . As of fall 2007 (in Minnesota), degrees earned by gender were bachelor’s: 58 percent female; master’s: 69 percent female; PhD: 53 percent female. Nationally, 58 percent of those earning bachelor’s degrees and 62 percent of those earning associate’s degrees are female.

Both Whitmire and Bailey agree that male and female students do best in schools that provide extra help immediately when students slip behind, instead of assuming that they’ll catch up later.

The research is clear, Bailey says.

Schools that set high standards for all, involve parents, provide firm discipline and an orderly, encouraging environment, and where teachers are respected and engaged are more successful. Such schools do not as easily fall into the black hole of differential expectations for girls and boys, or one racial or ethnic group over another.

Women earn less than men at every educational level, Baily points out.

About Joanne


  1. tim-10-ber says:

    I love the quote you chose from Bailey! Amen!!

  2. Actually, childless female college graduates in their 20’s outearn their male counterparts. The main reason for the overall pay gap is the “mommy penalty”.

  3. Women make different choices than men. Men and women may be equal but they’re not the same. Women disproportionately choose clean, safe jobs with family-friendly hours. Even within the same field, they choose different specialties and different kinds of positions. In medicine, they rarely choose surgical specialties instead of primary care (OBG is classified as primary care) and they tend to choose practice situations with stable and/or predictable hours, even if it means less pay. I understand that those kinds of choices are also true of lawyers and high-powered finance people.

  4. superdestroyer says:

    The way to look at the difference in male-female performance is that the gap is huge for blacks, large for Hispanic, measurable for whites, and non-existent for Asians.

    The question is what do Asians do in raising their sons to keep them from being failures.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by kriley19, JoanneLeeJacobs. JoanneLeeJacobs said: Boys lag in school but earn more as adults: […]