By Allison Ashley
Not only do men enter college at significantly lower rates compared to women (who now graduate with 60% of the bachelor degrees earned in the United States) but they’re more likely to drop out of college once they get there.
It all begins at a young age.
Compared to girls, boys are more likely to get expelled or suspended during their first years at school, and they are more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability such as ADD or ADHD, causing them to have a 9.1% high school dropout rate (compared to 7% for girls). These difficulties tend to carry on throughout a man’s college years.
According to a study done by CNN, the fear of being labeled feminine often stops boys from being involved in extracurricular activities.
It is important to recognize that different genders have their own strengths. For example, high school boys score slightly higher on the SAT, especially in the math section. Experts say that boys get higher scores because the timed multiple-choice questions make it seem more like an individual competition or game, playing to boys’ strengths. In contrast, girls do far better on the reading and writing sections.
In the US, more than 70% of high school valedictorians are women and the vast majority of high school students on honor rolls are women.
Currently, men make up about 40% of the nation’s college and university students.
According to a survey conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the reason male college students are more likely to dropout is because “men are more likely to believe they can succeed without a college degree.”
Sonoma Academy graduate Luke Martin (’13) said that he chose to no longer attend college because, “I did not really like school. For me my motivation in high school to get good grades was so I could play baseball. In college, the motivation to do well was not there and I realized that sitting there and listening to a teacher was not what I wanted to do.”
Similarly, Oliver Lipton (’13) said “I came home because I thought the school was a bad fit for me personally, and I didn’t feel the east coast was right for me in general.” Oliver plans on attending a different college in the fall.
So, what changes after college graduation?
Men dominate the math-science fields (these fields are 24% women) and earn more money than women ($0.82 to every dollar).
Men tend to be very motivated by and care greatly about titles, status, the next promotion, money, and the expectations that society has for them in the real world.
The real question is, will the male advantage in the work force prevail, even as women’s academic achievements continue to grow exponentially?