Phi Beta Cons

Quit Emasculating Our Boys

K-12 education has been made girl-centered to the detriment of boys. Marty Nemko, co-president of the National Organization for Men, shows how:

*Competition, a prime motivator for boys, has largely been replaced by “cooperative learning.”
*Readings about adventure and heroism are giving way to tales of relationships and heroines.
*Social studies now stress men’s ill-doings and women’s (and minorities’) contributions.
*Today, 91 percent of elementary-school teachers are women, the highest level on record. The main male role model most boys see in school is the custodian.

No wonder that a University of Michigan survey found that the number of boys who say they don’t like school increased 71 percent from 1980 to 2001.
Nemko also faults educated parents for often stifling their sons:

The college curriculum and the media consumed by the intelligentsia stress women’s accomplishments and men’s evils. So these parents too often feel justified in squeezing the maleness out of boys.

It is high time to create boy-friendly classrooms and rearing. Teachers and parents “must realize that aggressiveness, bravery and competitiveness, channeled wisely, can be the stuff of which greatness is made.”

Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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