Magazine | May 20, 2013, Issue

Letters

Explaining the Gulf

According to Kevin A. Hassett in his April 22 column, a “gulf has emerged” between the academic achievements of boys and girls — women now earn 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees and 60 percent of master’s degrees, for example — and “new clues” explain the roots of these differences. A graph plots the differences of time spent on children’s cognitive activities (number of books a child owns, attendance at story hours, and visits to the library).

But of the six comparisons, the greatest difference has to do with library visits among two-year-olds. About 30 percent of girls visited a library in the past month, as compared with 24 percent of boys — a six-percentage-point difference, as compared with the roughly 20-point gaps in degree-earning. How such a small difference can produce an “achievement gulf” is not clear — and at any rate, girls mature faster than boys, so such a difference among young children is hardly surprising.

Mr. Hassett is entirely correct about one thing, though — yes, boys are more wiggly than girls!

Margaret B. Larson

Mt. Airy, Md.

Kevin A. Hassett replies: Even though the differences in activities between boys and girls from the study I described may appear small, the cumulative effect of all the small differences is startlingly large. The authors of the study show that the difference in parental activities was responsible for up to 50 percent of the differences in boys’ and girls’ cognitive-test scores when they entered kindergarten. The activities listed are only some of the many ways that parental involvement may affect academic performance, which may well explain the large estimated impact. Visiting the library, for example, may be a proxy for other differences. The striking thing is that the “wiggles” in the data are found to have a major impact, leaving less to be explained by the wiggles in the boys.

Corrections

In “King Roger” (May 6), Jay Nordlinger reviewed Zev Chafets’s new book, Roger Ailes: Off Camera. He quoted the author as saying that Ailes pioneered the use of musical “intros and outros” in television news. He went on to question this claim. In fact, Chafets quotes a Berkeley professor, who makes the claim. He does not make it himself.

In addition, a letter in the May 6 issue stated that Berkshire Hathaway A shares were valued at $155; in fact, they were valued at $155,000.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

American Dawa

Deep-blue, multi-culti Boston is the latest target of jihadist terror. The spree began on April 15, when terrorists remotely detonated two improvised explosive devices near the finish line of the ...
Politics & Policy

George W. Bush Day

Dallas, Texas – They’re streaming onto the grounds of Southern Methodist University, at 7:30 in the morning. They’re dressed in their Sunday best, too — even though it’s Thursday. They, we, ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The Rubio Amnesty

When Mitt Romney lost last November, the Republican establishment decided that his moderately hawkish stance on immigration had been a major cause of his defeat. Never mind that his share ...
Politics & Policy

iPencil

Everybody knows the first words spoken on a telephone call — Alexander Graham Bell’s simple demand “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” April marked the 40th anniversary ...
Politics & Policy

Faith and Family

Following heavy losses in the same-sex-marriage fight, traditionalists are anxious. “Conservatives have been routed, both in court and increasingly in the court of public opinion,” writes Rod Dreher in an ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Explaining the Gulf According to Kevin A. Hassett in his April 22 column, a “gulf has emerged” between the academic achievements of boys and girls — women now earn 57 percent ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ New line of attack on Ted Cruz: He doesn’t act like the other senators. New slogan for Cruz campaign: See above. ‐ A Washington Post/ABC poll taken the week before ...
Athwart

Let Us Rage Together

The Sanctioned F-Bomb finally appeared in the wake of the Boston bombings. Speaking at a televised baseball game, Red Sox player Big Papi said, “This is our [bleepin’] city.” The ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

Koan Practice On one hand, what Is it not? But on one hand it Isn’t everything. The beer I do not drink With the friend I have never met In the café that doesn’t ...
Happy Warrior

Jihad Abhors a Vacuum

Post-9/11, we in the omniscient pundit class were all Afghan experts. Post-Boston, we are all Chechen experts. Strictly between us, I can count what I know about Chechens on one leg. ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The Real Reason for That Kavanaugh Smear

The New York Times on Saturday joined The New Yorker and many other media outlets in upending a dumpster full of garbage on its own reputation in an effort to smear Brett Kavanaugh. After more than a year of digging, the Democrats and their media allies still have no supported allegations of sexual misconduct by ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Yes, They Are Coming for Your Guns

At the Democratic-primary debate in Houston last night, Beto O’Rourke formally killed off one of the gun-control movement’s favorite taunts: The famous “Nobody is coming for your guns, wingnut.” Asked bluntly whether he was proposing confiscation, O’Rourke abandoned the disingenuous euphemisms that have ... Read More