Girls are outperforming boys academically in many countries, according to a report from Dr. Gijsbert Stoet of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and David C. Geary of the University of Missouri. They found that in 2009, high school girls performed considerably better on an international standardized test in 52 out of 74 participating countries. This includes countries where women face political, economic or social inequalities.
Here in the U.S., we are seeing girls outperforming boys. Thirty years after the passage of equal opportunity laws, girls are graduating from high school and college and going into professions in record numbers. The boys are now the ones who are falling behind their female counterparts.
This isn't just an inner-city problem either; it is happening in all 50 states, in all parts of society.
School psychologist Dr. Michael Thompson, who writes about academic problems of boys in his books, says that after decades of special attention, girls are soaring while boys are stagnating.
"Girls outperform boys in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, and graduate school," Thompson said.
Geary said he worries about the study's implications for a complex labor market, especially in non-developed countries. He said there's going to be "a lot of boys who are going to become young adults with few employable skills."
He continues, "If you have countries with a large percentage of these types of men, crime rates go up."
In a country where boys and girls are considered equals, it surprises me that there is less urgency surrounding the growing gap between genders. I hope that through bringing these findings to our attention, we will begin to give boys the extra support they need to thrive. This is a very real issue in both the United States and worldwide.