We had two great in-person groups with the discussions covering the wide range of concerns this book's topic addresses.  Everyone seems to agree about the complexity of the issue(s) involved and we're all hopeful that the authors suggests solutions as we delve further into the book.

     Chapter 2 questions: 

1.        Does the author over-emphasize the higher education statistics?  Aren’t more men employed in trades which do not require college degrees?

2.       What is your reaction to the news that boys’ lack of school success is an international problem?

 

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I am very curious about this "new" discrepancy between boys and girls in the educational playing field. Gender equity in education, the job market, personal relationships and roles within households has been a global & national issue and a personal concern ..although this used to be confined to discrimination against women. I am concerned that boys are lagging behind, even though there seems to be no apparent discriminatory practice or barrier to to their success. It will be interesting to see what the author perceives to be the root cause.
I do feel compelled to say that it is extremely unsettling..bordering on upsetting to read on pg 29 about the discriminatory practices being used in the Chicago school district and other schools and colleges against women. It has been just 40 years since Title 9 was implemented.. there must be a better way to fix the problem than to accept boys with a B average over girls with A averages. This isnt gender equity... it's moving backward.
It does not surprise me that boys' lack of success is now seen as an international problem (in places where boys and girls have equal access to education.) Maybe the real tradegy is all the third world countries where women have no rights are are treated as property. Back to the orginal question, there seems to be seesaw effect--the author suggests that in bringing girls up to better accademic success - -boys got left behind,
but we need to be careful in trying to fix this problem that girls do not get neglected again. The goal of educators should be that all succeed.
I did find it very interesting that pediatricians find that more boy babies than girl babies are likely to be born with vision problems, hearing impairment, and gross motor disabilities and that more boy students are identified as having learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Why has there not been more research into this factor? Whatever the answers are, I think that this book suggests that the answer needs to be found soon and that preschool and elementary school is where the changes need to start- -by middle school and high school- -the damage has already been done. It is certainly interesting reading.
I know Lisa is supposed to be asking the questions, but we are all asking, "What has happened?" Boys haven't suddenly become more active and slower to develop than girls. Our brothers went through the same school system as we, and many of them were honor students and now enjoy successful careers. Will our male students fall short of their father's achievements? Do enough of our boys even have father figures in their lives?
I feel just as many women are employed in trades as men; not everyone is hell bent on going to college. I find the statistics powerful. This situation suggests to me that society has changed; the rules have changed; the global comparisons have come to the fore; the divorce rate is out of sight; parents are harried and too exhausted at the end of their work day to take issue with Johnny doing his homework; around here parents work shift-work and kids are with care-takers; often the children spend more time on the computer, playing video games, or watching TV than anything else......with little supervision, or are on the streets; and the focus is no longer on work ethics and responsibilitly.
I understand that higher education was an upper-class male perogative. I'm sure just as many upper class families now send their sons & daughters to private schools, get them tutored, and steer them toward college. The enlightenment of the public has changed, so we fostered improving females' academic success, and since they've taken off we see the boys can't keep up. Is this some type of natural selection? We're stripping away the stereotypes and letting the cream rise to the top, perhaps. There's nothing wrong with women ruling the world to me. But the nagging natural differences persist......most boys behave differently than most girls, and they always have. Now that women work outside the home, and enjoy career success, have the attitudes at home changed? Something has changed.
Well, Tyre is just laying out "The Scope of the Problem" here, so maybe she'll have some "solutions" later in the book.
Please, everyone, feel free to ask questions! The purpose of my questions is to help get conversations started and to maybe provoke such articulate comments as those which are being posted.

The difficulties inherent in gender equity issues are apparent in all three of the responses above. It seems that that neither gender should have an advantage in the academic arena, and our challenge is to have a level playing field for all. It seems that this has not ever been the case, and that now that pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, i.e. discriminating against boys. I'm not sure if the author provides us with all the answers, but Tyre does cause us to ask ourselves some questions.

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