Lost Generation

As the boy crisis in educations continues unabated, more theories about the potential fallout abound. Data from a survey conducted in Wales found that boys are less likely to continue with their education once they reach the age in which they can legally decide not to attend school:

While girls remain more likely to continue in full-time education after the age of 16, a report from Careers Wales found that boys are increasingly likely to leave the system altogether.

And though the majority of young people continue with their education once they reach the legal age at which they can leave school, a study found that there has been a slight fall in the percentage of young people expected to go from year 13 into higher education.

The survey showed that, as in previous years, a larger proportion of girls than boys chose to continue in full-time education. The difference is most marked in year 11, with over 6% more girls than boys.

Over the last five years, a slight rise has been recorded every year in the percentage of girls and boys choosing this route in year 11 and 12. Year 13 figures have been slightly more erratic, according to Careers Wales, but there has been a definite increase in the last three years.

There also continues to be a higher percentage of boys than girls in the not in education, employment or training (NEET) category in years 11, 12 and 13. The difference is most marked in year 13 with more than 2% more boys in this category. Those in part-time education – 16 hours or less per week – were previously included in the NEET category, but this year are recorded separately.

It also showed that the percentage of boys entering the labour market, either work-based training or employment, continues to be higher than the number of girls across the three cohorts.

Professor David Reynolds offers the following explanation for the gender gap in education:

He said that the poorer performance of boys at school, resulting in many leaving the education system sooner than their female counterparts, is the culmination of girls being given a fairer chance to succeed.

“Boys have suffered as girls have done well,” said Prof Reynolds. “Girls have come through strongly and boys have found it increasingly difficult to compete.

“There are probably other issues at work as well – the growth of an anti-schools sub-culture is something that seems to have hap- pened, particularly among boys exposed to the labour market.”

There is also a problem for boys in the way pupils are assessed now, with continuous assessment suiting girls’ organisational skills and males traditionally doing better in final exams, he says.

The current situation hardly seems to result from the culmination of girls being given a fairer chance to succeed. If the result of girls being given a fair chance is that boys fail, one could argue that the situation is not that girls have been given a fairer chance, but that they have been given an unfair advantage.

As Reynolds acknowledges, the current focus in education is on continuous assessment. The general state of education is girl-centric, and that imbalance places boys in an unfair position. Their methods of learning, their skill sets, and their interests receive little or no attention. Boy are expected to learn as girls do, and when boys fail, it gets thrown in their faces as evidence of the superiority of girls.

When boys do not receive the same opportunities to succeed in education, or when it appears that those running the education system sabotage boys’ chances, it should come as no surprise that boys would turn elsewhere as soon as they could. While Reynolds has a point about economic status impacting some boys’ decisions to continue their education, one cannot fail to acknowledge that working a part-time or full-time labor job provides better incentive than struggling through several years of female-centric schooling. Labor jobs may not lead to great wealth or decent health, but they do provide boys with a place in which their skills will be of use and value.

Reynolds does not think that splitting the sexes into single-sex classes or schools is the answer. He thinks that schools should take a more targeted approach to make education more interesting to boys. That seems like a valid approach, however, these efforts would be done by those who have caused the current problem. It is not enough just to try to engage boys in education. One must change the system so as to better address boys’ needs and methods of learning.

We did it for girls, and we should do it for boys.

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27 thoughts on “Lost Generation

  1. As a a boy myself and a Junior in High school I would like to throw my two cents in. The entire argument is wrong. Ive never looked over at the girl next to me and though she is getting a better opportunity. We are all taught in the same classroom, by the same teacher, at the same time, without any special treatment. If this is a comparison between all girl schools vs all boy schools then you might have a case, but coed schools, no.
    If there really is a difference than it isn’t because of special treatment or unfair advantages, its most likely because boys are morons. Once puberty sets in its REALLY HARD to set your priorities straight. Id honestly rather get laid than do my homework, and it comes down to whether are schools encourage boys to stay, I know my school works hard to make sure everyone stays, but maybe that message isn’t good enough for guys, maybe it works with girls.
    When I ask my peers what they want to do with there lives, boys tend to express their desire to attend college and get their degrees as much as girls, those that say “fuck it I’m not going to college” are the same ones that said “fuck it, I’m not going to class” (true story).

    To put it bluntly I just believe a higher precentage of girls are natural more motivated to excel than guys, not because of there learning enviroment or special treatment, its just something thats natural

  2. Actually, that does not seem to pan out when boys are in all-male classes or schools. They typically outscore boys in mixed-sex classes and schools along with outscoring girls from all-girl and mixed-sex classes and schools. Likewise, boys seem quite motivated to excel at things that take their interest, such as sports, science, mathematics, gaming, etc. One should also keep in mind that twenty years ago none of these problems existed to the extent they do today. The current state seems to coincide with the changes to the education system to benefit girls.

  3. “We did it for girls, and we should do it for boys.”

    But- but- but- but- that would RESTORE PATRIARCHY!

  4. If you want to talk about straight acedemics and skip where the are going, I can tell you girls text A LOT! And its not all gossip alot of it is test answers.

    When you hear in those italian mobster movies, “Ive got connections” thats a perfect medaphor to describe the web of contacts any girl could us, and Im not joking. Although, being fair its not lke guy do any different.

    There really isnt a difference, if girls do better it isnt because schools are feminist and dont give fair treatment to men, it would have to be that girls are just supieror, Im in th same class with them all day, we arent taught any different

  5. Madhippy, aren’t you putting your gender down a little too much with your generalisations?

    “It’s most likely because boys are morons”.

    Really, that’s pretty insulting.

    There are boys out there who want to do well, but feel they’re getting the shaft from a system that’s giving girls an unfair advantage. Would you call them morons since you seem to insinuate so?

    I could care less about the fact that you’re a guy. Calling boys morons is pushing it. And pushing it really hard.

  6. As a former boy who has completed his education AND worked within my state’s education system for the following two decades I will simply state that you are wrong from your first word to your last.

    I’ve had the opportunity to compare systems across more than forty years. The changes to curricula, presentation, teacher gender ratios, discipline, even timetabling have been a disaster for boys in those systems.

    Changes made, particularly through the early nineties, took no account of the different learning styles best suited to either gender and were predicated on a female default. The decline in male performance academically commenced in precisely that timeframe.

    If there really is a difference than it isn’t because of special treatment or unfair advantages, its most likely because boys are morons.

    A few years ago my nephew, a little younger than yourself at the time, horrified his parents and myself by stating that “all men are bastards”. When quizzed about this it turned out that he’d picked it up from his female teachers who sounded quite fond of the expression from his descriptions. We never were able to get a straight answer from his school.

    Unfortunately too much of your contribution smacks of precisely the same sort of thing. Go back and read it again and this time take note of your own stereotyping and borderline bigotry. Consider the contribution your own experiences of school may have made to this.

    To put it bluntly I just believe a higher precentage of girls are natural more motivated to excel than guys, not because of there learning enviroment or special treatment, its just something thats natural

    If anybody ever wanted proof that the system is letting boys down here it is. What you think you see is a symptom of a system that has been demotivating boys since before you were born. Good teachers don’t merely pump facts into students. They motivate them TO learn.

    I assume that men and women are equally competent as teachers. If eighty five percent are of one gender the quality of teachers overall is vastly diminished. The entire system is diminished as a consequence and boys do suffer the brunt of this for obvious reasons.

  7. As I said, the results of test scores show that girl are not superior, they just have an unfair advantage in the current education system.

  8. Madhippy,

    I beleive the point Toy Soldier is attempting to make here is not that boys and girls are taught differently; it is that the teaching method/culture used to teach both sexes are weighted in favor of girls.

    Clearly, if you were in a classroom environment and noticed the teacher speaking and acting radically different toward boys as opposed to girls, the jig would be up.

  9. Im telling you people! Im there! Who would you ask for experience of war a historian or a soldier that fought it, there isnt that much of a difference. If you need to know wats happening in a classroom then you should ask students instead of cencus takers, its not that the historian or cencus is wrong, its just not a first hand account.

    Im telling you there is no special treatment for girls, not even in GYM! Girls run just as many laps as I do. Likewise we arent graded differently its all done by precentages and computers. There is no bias in schools.
    If I am listening to the same lesson, by the same teacher, on the same day. there isnt a bias, Im honestly starting to wonder if you arent alittle bias yourselves or at least paranoid of feminist.

    I really hope its not so, looking at an issue without a bias view give more credit to your work, a bias view only helps others to discredit your work

  10. Im 17, Im just making an honest observation, and it gave me a few laughs as I was typing it. Should I add lol evertime I type something for a few giggles.

    Adelesent boys and girls are so flooded full of hormones and now drugs (because everyone has ADHD now lol) that we have barely any sence left in us. Im not anti male or I would bother with a site that is so obviously working for a pro male agenda, Im just throwing an opinion another opinion into the mix

  11. Those werent beliefs I came up with while studing at school, they are the words I formulated as I read this article that is almost trying to blame women to the faults of men.
    I wish I hadnt said that, because as soon as a boy who has self described himself and his other peers as morons, he is condemned as a man hater. That is completely missing the point of what i was commenting on, I obverse first hand that the system sucks for girls as much as it does guys, because teens dont care about school, its boring, it sucks, its hard, we want to play.

    To clarrify the “moron” statement wasnt a brainwashed 17 year old boy condemning men, it was an honest observation about the actions of teenage boys (want proof, one word “youtube”). This isnt that boys are unintellegent its that we do stupid shit from time to time. But you know girls do that too and to get to the second quote of yours, i want to point out the context of the line was to steer the issue away from blaming the schools and teachers, but to look at a very obvious issue, girls bodies work different. It obvious in any scientific study that a girls body isnt really supieror to guys, it may just handle different stresses differently, they have different hormones running through them and as many case studies are starting to point out there may be a difference of in how the brain works between the two genders. Thats why I said it was “natural” because it is, its how nature made us.

    I am sorry to here about your nephew it is unfortunate when the schools which are meant to enlighten students turns to make them ignorant of the truth. As much as we hope for teachers to be tools to guide young minds toward enlightenment, it is also true they are human (a very negative thing to be lol) with her own set of biases and beliefs. It is unfortunate that she has been poisoning the mind of her inpressionable students and I hope apropriate action is taken, but dont condemn women for it plz

  12. Im 17, Im just making an honest observation, and it gave me a few laughs as I was typing it. Should I add lol evertime I type something for a few giggles.

    If this is your attitude then maybe you should find somewhere else to express it.

    We are not here for fun and laughter particularly when it involves the type of smearing you think is a joke.

  13. SMEARING!!! nothing in there was a joke and nothing in there was smearing if I can get into this without turning myself into a zombie that is better for the movement, you need personality to it wor it becomes a chore, no more like duty, a duty is a job that has to be done, but its doesnt require alot of passion to preform. This is just my way of showing passion for what toysoldier is trying to do, by not holding myself back!

    I think you knit picked the wrong part of my message, men arent inferior to females, we are just different it is natural to be different and if that differentiation helps them at this time in their lives good for them. I dont want people to blame the school and the teachers, because Ive seen the condition it is we all learn, in fact I experience it 5 out of 7 day for 9 months.
    If there is a difference in are preformance dont blame the system, blame biology.

    This is the last message I send so make up your mind on how you read that I dont care anymore; above is the last I have to say to clarrify the first message

  14. Calling boys morons gave you a few laughs?

    Madhippy, you can’t be serious.

    And by the way, we’re not pro-male. We’re pro-male support. As in, if a man or boy is in trouble, assaulted, or has been the victim of abuse, we advocate. That’s what this site is for: To address areas of support, particularly male abuse victims, that feminism and society ignores either willfully or otherwise.

  15. A lot of girls are smart and can achieve plenty. Big deal. Why read into things so negatively? Do you really think a bunch of high-school prissy females think about tearing up a guys education?

  16. I just asked my 13 year old niece this question and showed her this, and she said that girls don’t go around snickering about trying to “beat the boys” at everything or call them names. In fact she asked “who does that”? It seems to me a lot of the things on these boards are forced to be males vs female and ONLY basing everything on what “feminists” do.

  17. I DID notice some teachers treating boys and girls differently when I was in school, which wasn’t all that long ago. Teachers (male and female) would scream at and threaten the boys while barely reprimanding the girls.

    Abuse of males means nothing to this society.

  18. Im telling you people! Im there!

    And I was there eight years ago. My cousin was there not too long ago. My godson is there now. None of that really changes anything as test and performance scores are what they are. Study after study shows that boys lag behind in many subjects, which the exceptions of math and science. Fewer boys graduate high school than girls. Fewer boys enter college. Fewer young men finish college. Boys are more likely to be held back a grade, sent to remedial classes, given medication to “settle down.” All of these present issues were not major problems twenty years ago. All of the present issues coincide with the changes in the education system to benefit girls.

    Who would you ask for experience of war a historian or a soldier that fought it, there isnt that much of a difference.

    Actually, there is. A soldier can only speak about his direct experience. An historian can speak about the overall experience of war, put it into context, and hopefully explain the causes, motivations, and decisions that lead to war objectively. So the proper question to ask is what information do you want to know? If I want to know about what war does to a person I would talk to a soldier. If I want to know the social, cultural, and economic impact of war I would talk to an historian.

    In context, I already know what the current education system does to boys since I lived it, along with my friends and family. I am more interested in the overall impact the education has on boys in general, in which I case I need to talk to researchers to find out whether my experiences were limited to a specific school or specific region or whether it occurs elsewhere. As was noted in the article, the boy crisis in schools occurs in most Western countries, especially English-speaking countries. The same numbers pop up in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. They also occurred at relatively the same time: when schools in those countries altered their education systems to benefit girls.

  19. A lot of girls are smart and can achieve plenty. Big deal. Why read into things so negatively? Do you really think a bunch of high-school prissy females think about tearing up a guys education?

    No, but I do think a bunch of well-intentioned self-absorbed people made changes to the education system without bothering to consider the impact it would have on the other half of the student body.

    I just asked my 13 year old niece this question and showed her this, and she said that girls don’t go around snickering about trying to “beat the boys” at everything or call them names. In fact she asked “who does that”?

    I could ask my 10-year-old godson whether he and other boys interrupt girls trying to answer questions in class or bully girls into silence or call girls names to prove boys are better than girls. I am sure he would ask “Who does that?” That would be a fair question, especially since that is the main argument that prompted the changes in the school systems to better benefit girls. I know of no one who ever saw boys do that, but lots of feminists claim that happened and continues to happen. However, no one has claimed that girls go around snickering about trying to “beat the boys” at everything or call them names. The position is that the current education system is biased in a manner that favors girls and disadvantages boys.

  20. “I could ask my 10-year-old godson whether he and other boys interrupt girls trying to answer questions in class or bully girls into silence or call girls names to prove boys are better than girls.”

    -If you think this does not happen to girls, your blind. If you think I believe it does not happen to boys, you are wrong.

    I’m just raising a point that fighting for equality does not have to go by using negative examples from ONLY one source. Like feminists.

    Example. There are plenty of women out there who raise only boys and don’t have daughters or even who do have both sons and daughters who want the best for all their children. I think it’s unfair to use only feminists when there are a lot of people who would be out to support anyone.

  21. I just don’t understand why it has to be a male vs. female arguments. Why follow others (e.i. feminists) examples if they are doing it? It just brings everything down to those people’s levels…

    Also, there are a lot more women are not feminists. In fact, a lot of women HATE to think they need a group or special attention to succeed. I work for a social service organization, and I have worked closely with young men and women and most of the young women I meet find it insulting that they “need” something extra to help them succeed. That they ‘have” to be or considered the “damsel in distress”. They have said this to me. Most of the kids I’ve worked with come from broken homes, also in urban areas.

    The same can be said for minorities. A lot of people assume minorities want or need the same things (like affirmative action) when in fact, many also feel it’s insulting that people think they “need” special attention to get ahead. Like it’s saying minorities can’t get ahead without some kind of aid.

  22. I’m just raising a point that fighting for equality does not have to go by using negative examples from ONLY one source. Like feminists.

    The source of the information comes from studies, research, grades, and test scores. Unless you are arguing that using that information constitutes “negative examples” I do not understand your position. Are there schools trying to do the best for all students? Yes. Overall, does it appears that boys are lagging behind? Yes. Does it appear that boys are suffering due to an intentional disregard for their specific needs? In many instances, yes. That the changes that caused this problem came from feminists does not alter whether the problem exists.

  23. madhippy,

    “If you need to know wats happening in a classroom then you should ask students instead of cencus takers, its not that the historian or cencus is wrong, its just not a first hand account.

    Actually, you ask people who study what goes on in the classrooms like Christina Hoff Sommers, whom I referred to in my earlier comment. She relies on statistics rather than anecdotes. Statistics matter far more than personal anecdotes like those of yours because there could just as well be other students who think very differently from you.

    If you don’t have an alternative system, you are very likely to accept the present system or leave it altogether.
    In the 1970s the Malaysians discriminated against the local Chinese minority who were on average smarter than they were by changing the language of education from English to Malay. Many Chinese left the Malaysian system and went to Singapore where they could study in English. Singapore today is much stronger economically than Malaysia thanks to the brain drain from Malaysia. The point is there are very few “Singapores” in North America or Europe for boys to escape to and so a lot of you guys learn to live with what the system gives you.

    Im telling you there is no special treatment for girls, not even in GYM! Girls run just as many laps as I do. Likewise we arent graded differently its all done by precentages and computers.”

    Computers and percentages are ALL manipulated and controlled by humans. Your argument is akin to blaming guns for killing people, rather than those firing them.

    Your comparison should be between a large sample of girls and boys, not a few girls and yourself. This is because you could very well be below average for a boy and your class could have girls who are above average for girls.

    You have to understand that it is possible to teach a feminized system with equal attention to both boys and girls and obtain consistently different results for each group.

  24. Heh. I think this video could be renamed “How feminists see working-class men”:

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