Essay on War Against Boys in Society

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War Against Boys in Society

It is a bad time to be a boy in America. As the new millennium began, the defining event for American girls was the triumph of the U.S. women’s soccer team. For boys, the major event was the mass killing at Columbine High School. It would seem that boys in our society face great difficulties and risks as they grow up. Yet the best-known studies and the academic experts are telling us that it is girls who are suffering from a decline in self-esteem. The experts say that it is girls who need extra help with academics and elsewhere in a society that favors boys. Christina Hoff Sommers, a Ph.D. in philosophy and a former professor of philosophy at Clark University, disagrees with the increasingly
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Boys, on average, are a year and a half behind girls in reading and writing; they are less committed to school and less likely to go to college (Sommers 14). More boys than girls are suspended from school. More are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely as girls to be enrolled in special education programs and four times as likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)(Sommers 25). Larry Hedges and Amy Nowell, researchers at the University of Chicago, warned that the larger numbers of males who perform near the bottom of the distribution in reading comprehension and writing also have policy implications. It seems more likely that individual males with such poor literacy skills will have problems finding jobs in an increasingly information-driven economy (Sommers 34). Second, boys are being confronted with challenges that arise from a society and educational system that are increasingly biased towards them. A boy today finds himself caught up in the social crime of "shortchanging" girls. Yet the supposedly silenced and neglected girl sitting next to him is likely to be a better student. She is not only more expressive, she is probably a more mature, engaged, and well-balanced person. He may be uncomfortably aware that girls are more likely to go on to college. He may believe that teachers prefer to be around girls and pay more attention to them. At the same time, he may also
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