At Wayne County Community College, young women make up almost 70 percent of all students; at Grand Valley State University, about 62 percent of students are female; at elite schools, such as the University of Michigan, the gender gap is reported to be likely increasing.
“This is really a gender thing,” says William Pollack, a Harvard Medical School assistant clinical professor who directs the Center for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital. “White middle-class boys are having a tough time. And poor boys and boys of color have it even tougher.” “Young women absolutely hate it,” he adds.
As IWF scholars have long maintained – in what should be a matter of greatest concern to American society- “boys have lost their confidence – in themselves and in school – and that has translated to declining motivation, grades and achievement.”
Schools and parents? Wrongly disposed.
And what of the prospects of boy-friendly affirmative action? Writes Amber Arellano:
For all the research that shows that the system must change to accommodate boys- needs, it’s shocking that more educators and policymakers aren’t addressing the problem — or even talking about it.
Certainly, the press hasn’t discovered the issue in mass yet. So the public is largely unaware of how bad the problem is — and thus, does not pressure politicians to do more.
But I suspect that it’s also because neither the right nor the left like this issue. Liberals have focused so much on women’s disparity, it’s not politically correct to focus on boys.
And conservatives who argue that gender does not or should not matter — and who successfully helped pass Michigan?s ban on affirmative action in certain public programs and institutions — hate the fact that the programs that would help boys catch up in college-going are essentially affirmative action.
That’s a terrible shame. Now that boys need affirmative action, at the university level and earlier, it’s not there for them.
I shudder to envisage the nature of a boys? government-mandated affirmative action program. But Arellano is right: The public urgently needs to address and seek redress of the problem.