Don't miss AEI resident scholar and Factual Feminist Christina Hoff Sommers' column headlined "Work with Boys–Not Against their Nature" in today's New York Times.

Christina writes that the advances of women and girls are to be celebrated, but that this should not blind us to the growing number of poorly-educated young men. Boys in all ethnic groups, Christina writes, are less likely than their sisters to earn good grades and to "feel connected" to school.

Some of this is happening because, under the influence of a radical feminist movement, schools prefer to try to change boys to educating them. Christina writes:  

Rather than try to change the basic nature of boys, why not work with who they are? Consider the all-too-typical case of Justin, a Southern California boy who loved science fiction, pirates and battles. An alarmed teacher summoned his parents to school to discuss a picture the 8-year-old had drawn of a sword fight — which included several decapitated heads. Justin was a well-behaved, normal little boy, but the teacher expressed grave concern about Justin’s values. The boy’s father was astonished, not by his son’s drawing — typical boy stuff — but by the teachers lack of sympathy for his son’s imagination. If boys are constantly subject to disapproval for their interests and enthusiasms they are likely to become disengaged and lag further behind.

Girls may be on the wrong side of the junior high school football gap, but boys are lagging when it comes to far more consequential divides. And closing those gaps does not entail treating conventional boyishness as a pathology in need of a cure. It means working with, not against, the young male imagination.