Tuesday, February 14, 2006

You Weren't So Concerned When...

I love the recent spate of articles about the widening gap in scholastic achievement between men and women -- in the women's direction. This story in today's New York Times is only one in a number I've read recently in which someone is alarmed that men are falling behind. Let's not forget that women have been way behind for the entirety of Western history.

The theory is that newer teaching methods (relying less on fear and more on feelings) and the emphases of our information economy favor women's learning styles and strengths over men's. Hence, men are graduating and attending college at lower rates (my alma mater is more than 60 percent female).

New York State Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills tells the Times that the trend is going to have "profound negative effects for our future." But how do we know the trend is a bad thing? Not to sound like a bra-burner, but how do we know it is not better to have women running things?

Everyone should relax a bit. Just because men may not be quite so dominant in academia and in the corner office (there is currently I think one Forbes 500 company run by a woman) in a few years doesn't mean the sky is falling.


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