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erpowers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:00 AM
Original message
The Boys Crisis
I am one of those people who thinks the issue of the boys crisis is just a bogus Republican issue. I think Republicans are using the fake boys crisis to attempt to take away any program that helps girls. I think a little research from reporters could prove how this issue is bogus. It is being reported that currently women make up 57% of college students while men make up 46%. I think people should look at the war situation as one of the reasons for this gap. If only 10% of the men fighting in Iraq were guys who had to leave college to fight the war than there is no longer a gap. The national guard is currently making up to nearly 50% of the fighting force in Iraq. I would think the majority of the national guard troops in Iraq are men. So it would seem to me that the real reason for the college gap is the war in Iraq and not some type of favortism toward women.

I did not mention the war in order to bash the war. I just think people should look at the real reason for the current gap in college rates and not try to blame favortism toward women. In my opinion the current supposed boys crisis is just a Republican attempt to turn back the advances women have made in recent years.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. 57 + 46 = 113%
Little snarky (forgiveness please) but numbers are off. I do think the 57-43 spread is a problem.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. 103% n/t
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I'm even dumber
Just when I think I can't get any dumber, there I go....
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I hate it when that happens...
:hi:
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. I think you're right. nt
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. If the numbers were not "boys", but women, African-American etc
Edited on Tue Jun-27-06 08:15 AM by Solo_in_MD
would it still be considered a non-issue? In Seattle it is...see http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/disciplinegap /

edit: spelling


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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. *shrug* it's been true long before the war
This goes back to the '90s: girls are doing better in high school and going to college much more than boys.

I've read some interesting suggestions about why; the one I like is a social one. In school, teachers tend to reward girls for being correct and stable while they reward boys for taking risks. This leads to more spectacular successes and failures for boys than for girls (that reminds me of Ashley Montague's argument in "The Natural Superiority of Women", though he is suggesting a genetic basis for essentially the same thing), since teachers expect girls to just get the answer right and keep quiet, rather than explore and experiment.

This is completely anecdotal, but in all of the high school graduations I can remember going to, the valedictorian was male and the next dozen or so students by academic rank were female; that may be why the explanation above resonates with me.

And anyways I don't think this is a GOP issue; people have been talking about it on all sides of the spectrum (even Naomi Wolf at one point) for about a decade now. A greater percentage of girls are graduating from high school and going to college than boys, and have been for some time. I agree with you that there's a danger this could undo Title IX, etc., but if we focus on better mentoring and outreach to boys rather than punishing girls for their hard-earned success, this can be a win-win situation.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Other studies have shown how girls are shortchanged
in classes from kindergarten through high school by being expected to be silent and decorative while the boys are encouraged to shout out answers and take credit for ideas that come from elsewhere, usually the girls. The difference in teacher time afforded each sex was disheartening, girls largely being left to fend for themselves.

I agree that the problem with boys may be a cultural one, but I see it as THEIR culture, something we have little control over. Think about it, what behaviors do boys reward? What do they punish in terms of teasing and bullying? Academic success is generally in the latter group. I have NEVER heard one boy praise another for his mental abilities unless there was a contest of some sort being won.

As long as academically gifted boys are being condemned as nerds and as long as sports are the main avenue to gain male approval, we are not going to see any solution to the "boy crisis."

And you're right, punishing girls is not the answer, although it is the traditional way of dealing with the phenomenon. I expect it will be done again.

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genie_weenie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. So, in your opinion
the reason that boys do not do well in school is the actions of the boys themselves? Since "smart" boys are chided and ridiculed by other immature boys we adults can wash our hands and allow a generation of young men to emerge who have limited education, a lesser chance at college and will no doubt turn on one other as is their immature want and self-destruct?

But, hey as I stated in my other post that's why we have the Army, jails and liquor stores...
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. We don't wash our hands, but PARENTS have the primary
role in this one in trying to counteract some of the bullying. Denying the problem exists and what the effects are doesn't do anyone any good, especially boys.

WE can't do a damned thing about boy culture. If we have a son, though, we can lessen its impact by allowing the kid to be who he is and by praising him for his talents at home. The boys who do the best are the boys with the maximum parental support.

Just don't expect it to have much of an effect on his outlook until the academically talented son meets his former tormentor when he takes his new car in to be detailed.

As for the generation of limited education, don't you think we're still going to need plumbers, auto mechanics, and a host of other skilled workers? College isn't everything, and it's been oversold as a way to economic success and achieving the American dream.

Your choice between college on the one hand and the Army, jail, or liquor store is a false one. There are too many successful men out there who chose none of the above.
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genie_weenie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. My analogy was between success and failure.
Edited on Tue Jun-27-06 10:26 AM by genie_weenie
I did not list every future path (college, skilled carpenter, untrained artist, lead singer in a garage band, architect) which can lead to a good life and I did not list every path which leads to an unfilled life of quiet desperation.

Success is not only achieved by going to college but leading a happy, fulfilling enriched life. This, of course, differs with the individual.

So, yes you are correct College isn't everything. IMO, continual learning (for some this includes college) usually leads to a better life.

The problem is We as Humans should be doing all we can to promote better fuller lives for the next generation. And not focusing on adjusting for past wrongs or indiscretions. This is hard for some to accept.

And when I read your comment about we're still going to need plumbers, auto mechanics, and a host of other skilled workers I am reminded of the ideas of the JP Morgans and Rockefellers of US history who had a hand in the crafting of a public education system which teaches people to know their place and not attempt to rise above their station or lot in life as a cog in the system.

While, the Rich Class ensured their children were given superior private education so that they could run the Businesses, the Government and the Military.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Just wanted to say two things...
Edited on Tue Jun-27-06 12:16 PM by Breeze54
Edited for spelling

~~~~~~~~~~~

First, the schools are where most of the bullying takes place and they do little to stop it.
Yes, the parents need to push to stop it, I agree. It took me three years to get the school to act!
Then both kids went to a new HS and it started again; until the bullier burned the bullee (lol)
with a heated up screwdriver and then the police put a stop to the bullying!
That school actually told me that they "don't involve the police"! That was news to the police!

Second...there is a lack of male teachers in the schools! It's really bad!
My son had one male teacher for all of grammer school. Eight years!
It was when he went to HS that he had male teachers!
English, electrical, chemistry, geometry/algebra teachers... and I was/am grateful for them! ;)
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. If there is a lack of male teachers...
Who should change that? Men.

There are all these people around who want men influencing kids in schools - well nobody's stopping them that I know of.

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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I didn't say
anyone was stopping them. I was just saying that a lack of males teacher's does exist.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. How can it be "shortchanging"?
Girls are ending up more successful academically than boys. How is that shortchanging?
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GumboYaYa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
8. I think that is very wrong.......
Edited on Tue Jun-27-06 08:34 AM by GumboYaYa
Boys and men have not had the benefit of the feminist movement. Feminism has focused primarily on how a patriarchal male dominated society has negatively impacted and denied opportunities to women. It has yet to focus on the destructive impact the patriarchy has on young boys as they grow to be men. As a result, you have an educational system that has begun, but not completed the task, of teaching young girls to be comfortable with themselves as young women. They are learning to eschew the shackles of the patriarchy and as a result are in many cases becoming more full and complete participants in the world. Young boys on the other hand still grow up in the competitive patriarchal system of their fathers and grandfathers. Physical domination is rewarded and applauded. Intellectual sophistication is derided. Young men are told that they have to provide for their families to be men but they live in a world where it is ever increasingly harder to do so. As a result some turn to crime and drugs and end up in prison. 25% of the young black male population sitting in prison, probably has something to do with the statistical gap between boys and girls.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. RE: "Young boys... grow up in the competitive patriarchal system..."
"Physical domination is rewarded and applauded. Intellectual sophistication is derided...."

I think that is a reflection of the anti-feminist mentality.

If physical domination is held up as the gold standard - while women are objectified and demeaned - that's just a way of keeping up the illusion that men are superior.

Who is driving that? It's not the women.

Who is responsible for changing it? I think parents, in part, can do a lot by emphasizing sports as a fun pastime - but not to take it too seriously. That education should be taken seriously - and enjoyed, as well - that that is what will matter in the long run.

But the mentality - ""Physical domination is rewarded and applauded. Intellectual sophistication is derided...." is also a reflection of our capitalist culture that men still control. (Male) confidence is often linked with violence in movies. People who buy into that - are not going to be successful.

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GumboYaYa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. I don't disagree with anything you said, I just recognize
that growing up in a culture that promotes those values is damaging to young boys just as it is damaging to young girls. We have started to help girls escape that culture, but few people, even the most progressive feminists, have acknowledged that we need to help boys as well.
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genie_weenie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
9. Yeah! Screw men it's only fair...
The decline of boys in school has been noted since the 90s as mentioned by another poster. It was always my understanding the *True* Feminist Movement was to empower and make equal all people, but like many movements radical elements took it over and pushed it's agenda in a particular way.

Anyway society doesn't care if men are left to flounder in school and end up turning their destructive behavior on themselves and others, that's why we have the army, jails and liquor stores, right?

As for the war, your point doesn't really fly because unlike Vietnam, Korea or WWII, the men in the military weren't drafted and forced to go into the military instead of school, most joined out of a small list of reasons which usually include:
little chance at school on their own,
no job opportunities,
the public education system has indocrtinated them to belive service to "Nation" is noble or heroic,
a chance to exert their male traits of violence and aggression.


But, hey who cares if men are now extraneous to life and society?
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. Since men still control most of our institutions
control the culture - what gets noticed/what doesn't, control what gets on the airwaves, control the educational systems, government, religious institutions, most businesses - who are you expecting to change things for men?

Sorry - but the idea that men in this society have it bad is laughable.

Men probably will make things better for men - (even though - or because - they control most things) because they will see themselves as the victims - and that will be par for the course.


Maybe some men are being "screwed" by rich men. There is nothing about this system that says that people are going to get an even chance. If you think that women are getting a better deal - you should look around and think again. Not at the numbers of who are in college - but at society in general - who wins and who loses - IOW - look at how many men are in charge of things. At the White House, the Pentagon, the Congress, the Supreme Court. Who are the anchor people on TV. Some people were going to have a hemorrhage because Katie Couric is going to be on Prime Time. Sheesh.

Look at how men get better salaries without going to college - or with just a little college - compared with what women get.

Take off your blinders.
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genie_weenie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. My points reference the idea
that the War in Iraq is causing the disparity in the numbers of men/women in school. Also I pointed out that the FEMINIST MOVEMENT was initially created to help all people and that is a laudable goal. I think your position is wildy inaccurate.

How about this what are the ACTUAL numbers of men at the White House (2) + The Joint Chiefs + Congress (>535)+ Supreme Court (8)?

So you can blame 150 million American Men for the actions of less than a thousand?

And getting to society in general; Who lives longer on average Men or Women? And the system is supposed to be a meritocracy. So yes everyone is suppossed to get an even chance based on their abilities.

And how might one temper and hone their abilities??? Why through SCHOOL and learning.

My blinders are off, what's stopping you from being a progressive because I am XY and not XX?


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erpowers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
25. National Guard
Many men in the National Guard and the Reserve were taken out of college to fight both the Afghanistan and Iraq War. I do think that has some effect on the numbers concerning men going to and attending college.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. This is true! n/t
;)
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chaska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
18. Why you want to start a flame war??? Don't post in this thread. We have...
more important things to deal with. Let's not rip each other apart.

Is that too much to ask?
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
21. It's societal/cultural conditioning
American society does not value education, and many aspects of our culture send the messageparticularly to boysthat getting and education and/or academic success is not very important.

We live in a country where teachers (mostly women) often have to take second and third jobs to make ends meet, but grown men get paid millions of dollars to play a game. Eight years ago, nearly half the people in this country voted for the man they'd rather have a beer with, while his opponent was derided for being a "nerd." For God's sake, are there other countries in the world where intelligence is seen as a detriment for national office?

I've seen it nearly every day in my classroom since the day I started, more than 15 years ago. Boys are more interested in sports and are, more often than not, satisfied with a grade that does not reflect their ability. Girls are more willing to apply themselves and work hard for a better grade. Girls are far less likely to be mocked by their peers for caring about schoolwork. Boys will work to their potential if the parents demand it, but that's very rare. Often, the best you can hope for is parents who tell their son that he must get at least C's if he wants to play basketball (or whatever). In most cases, however, the parents don't give a damn about the grades; the kid will still be allowed to play whatever sport he wants, regardless of academic performance. And if he excels at that sport, he'll be rewarded with adulation, reinforcing the message that education is irrelevant.

There are exceptions to this, but in many cases the prove the rule: students who are immigrants, or children of immigrants, from a country or culture where education is highly valued, such as India or Korea, will make every effort to be as successful as possible academically. They may be interested in sports and other "masculine" subjects, such as cars and guns, but those interests are always secondary to education.

Until fundamental changes are made that start sending the societal message that education is worthy of effort and sacrifice, then this so-called "Boys' Crisis" will continue.
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adwon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
22. Wow
1. Your numbers don't add up.

2. You don't identify the age group making up the supposed 'gap.'

3. Your war argument is ridiculous on its face. 10% of 150k is 15k. 15k going to college would erase a gap which isn't identified? If we assume this gap is only measured in 18-25 year olds, we are likely to be talking millions of people. 15k isn't even 10% of 1 million, much less more.

4. Your opinion may end up being right, but its basis is flawed.
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erpowers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. Numbers
If you want to talk about the numbers than blame the news media. I got the numbers from CBS Nightly News last night. There are a number of young men college age who are currently fighting in Iraq who would otherwise be going to college. The main point is that if people would stop and do some small research it is possible that the major gap that people talk about may either be reduced or eliminated due to the fact that many young men of college age are being taken out of college to fight the wars. Since I was talking about college I just figured everyone would think about the ages 18-21 and even 25.
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adwon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-28-06 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. ?
Edited on Wed Jun-28-06 12:29 AM by adwon
1. You assume that young men currently in Iraq would otherwise go to college. There's a huge assumption. Having grown up in an army town, I would say this is not terribly likely. From my own observation, the army is either done before one would go to college or complete in lieu of it. Granted, my observations are singular and non-scientific. They still are based on actual observation, unlike your hypothesis.

2. I don't get your call for research on the subject. Shouldn't you have done that before posting? You pulled the 10% of the forces in Iraq figure out of a hat. Do you know the numbers of the gap? Can you definitively say that 17k people (which 10% would approximately be) would be sufficient? I see no reason to take you seriously when you call for others to do the research (and the math) that is your initial responsibility.

3. Assumptions are bad things. "Nontraditional students" are making up a growing part of the college population. You need to define the groups, not assume that everyone else will immediately get the drift.

Here's a fun hypo:

Assume 4 million Americans from 18-22 in college. I believe your stats were 57-43 female-male. That gives us 2.28 million females and 1.72 million males. There's a gap of 56k people. Assume the force levels in Iraq are rougly 170k. Now, let's further assume that half of the Americans in Iraq are 18-22 (which may be a big assumption) and further assume that 10% (a number from the OP) would attend college if not for military service. 10% is 8.5k. 56k-8.5k = 47.5k. So, the gap in this hypo, by piling assumption upon assumption, would be reduced by about 15%. Not much of an improvement.

Oh, final note. No one is being 'taken out of college' to fight any war. It's all-volunteer these days. As I said before, you may be right about the gap being not important, but your reasoning remains flawed.
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Jade Fox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
27. Read this....
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