War Against Boys in Education

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As college education continues to become relevant in the modern economy, girls are succeeding at higher rates than boys in schools. Girls are leaving boys behind and there exists a wide gender gap in education. According to Christina Hoff Sommers, war against boys exists in schools. The paper focuses on the argument for and supporting Christina Hoff’s notion that war against boys exists in our schools. In addition, the paper outlines how gender discrimination and sexism operates against males in education today. The paper also describes an outlook of the war against boys in education and its importance for individuals, education, families, relationships, society and the culture as a whole. Moreover, the paper seeks to identify the significance of the argument about war on boys, the individuals affected and the consequences. In the past, girls have always been treated as the weaker sex in education and a lot has been done thus doing better than boys. Therefore, the paper focuses on how past discrimination of women justifies a sort of reverse sexism that might be prevalent today.


Across the social economic divisions, girls are enrolling and finishing post-secondary studies at a higher rate than boys. Past research has indicated that as chances for individuals without university education decreases, the rates for boys graduating each year has been stagnant while that of women has continued to rise. In 967, the number of boys joining colleges was higher than that of girls (Tierney 17). However, in 2015, the percentage for women in colleges had risen to 72.5 percent while that of men was at 65.8 percent (Pollitt 23). The statistics leads to the formulation of the statement whether the rise of women require the fall of men in education. In the recent decades, women from minority and low-income families have made significant strides in education. For example, in 2013, 12.4 percent of boys from less advantaged homes had a bachelor’s degree from the sophomore’s schools while 17.6 % were girls (Pollitt 23). 

            The gap in gender education has lasted for a long period of time. During the 1970s, the number of boys attending school was higher than that of girls. However, the gap has been narrow in the recent past with girls acquiring education at higher rates than boys (Sommers 21). In 1900s, several colleges began opening up chances for girls to get educated and even scored better grades than men. According to Christina Hoff, there has always been a misconception that boys are favored while girls are disadvantaged in schools. In addition, Christine outlines that boys are perceived as the weaker sex and girls are succeeding in education (Sommers 12). Christine goes ahead to explain that victory of the soccer team at the world cup symbolizes the American girl’s spirit and it is a bad period for the boys. In the past, women complained that boys benefited from the school systems and biased against girls. According to the Association Women in Universities, girls were being shortchanged in schools (Tierney 17). In addition, boys were resented as the less disadvantaged sex as well as a block to gender justice for female students. The perception led to a feeling that girls needed and deserved a special and indemnifying consideration. The ideology that society and schools demotivate girls gave rise to the formulation of policies and laws that intends to curtail the privileges of boys and address the harm caused to girls. According to Christina Hoff, the notion that girls are unfairly treated in schools while boys get advantaged is not true.

            The United States Department of education released data showing that, today’s girls outshine boys despite them being depicted as demoralized and shy (Jacobs 179). In addition, the data indicated that girls had higher educational aspirations and scored better grades compared to boys. According to past research from universities and the State Department of Education, girls are able to write and read at a faster rate than boys. In addition, the research shows that boys are less committed to school and have a lower likelihood of going to college compared to girls.  In 1997, the enrollment of college students was at 45 percent for male and 55% for girls (Jacobs 178). The department of education outlines that the number of girls in colleges will continue to raise as that of boys goes ahead to shrink. Moreover, more girls compared to boys enroll in science and mathematics careers. More are studying abroad, read more books and debate in clubs. Boys are only known to be ahead of girls in sports. In addition, many boys are suspended from schools compared to girls (DiPrete et al 24).

            Girls outnumber boys in colleges. Although both sexes are more likely to go to school compared to 1970s, girls have edged ahead of boys. In the modern world of education, 57 percent of students graduating from colleges are girls and the gap is projected to be at 60/40 in the future years (Moller et al 265). In 2018, Harvard revealed that more girls than boys were admitted to their freshman class. Past researchers have asked who will marry the educated girls.       Women advocates have been fighting that women have always been discriminated. In addition, women advocates think that it is a victory for them. However, according to John Tierney, women should not celebrate over the issue. Feminism has ruined school education for boys and as a result led to gender gap. According to George Gilder, self-respecting boys lack the motivation to go school due to the increased feminization of American universities. Internationally, colleges and universities are enrolling more girls than boys. According to Buchman, since 1982, more girls than boys have completed trainings in academics at all levels including social and ethnic groups. In the generations before 1965, boys were encouraged to pursue and achieve higher levels of education. From the year 1966 to 1977, trends in education changed and daughters from less educated homes and those of single mothers were aspired to attain a college degree. The trends began to increase especially from the three educationally disadvantaged groups in America that included; Hispanics, Native and African Americans.  Out of all women who receive academic degrees include 66% to African Americans, 61% to Hispanics and 55% to Asians.

            The reversal of gender ratio in education was attributed to the changes in lower educated classes that included; single mothers, Hispanics and African Americans (Sommers 67). In technical languages, girls get more engaged in the subjects compared to boys. According to the CQ researcher, girls are more likely to make their teachers happy than boys through taking some time on projects, doing homework and doing extra credit. However, the CQ researcher outlined that boys carelessly do their assignments and then rush out to play without minding how the teachers will respond to their untidy work. According to the department of Education, girls in fourth and eighth grades consistently do more assignments than boys. By the time they enroll to the 12th grade, girls are more likely to do assignments compared to boys. The gender gap between admissions to colleges in boys and girls is as a result of performance differences in high schools. For example, in the year 1996, the department of education reported that 8.4 million girls got admissions to colleges compared to 6.7 million boys. In addition, the department outlined that the number of girls joining colleges was expected to rise at a higher rate than that of boys in the next 10 years (Tierney 23). Moreover, boys dominate in the learning-disability, dropout and failure lists.

            From the perspective of a sociologist, the increased success of girls in education comprises rare questions of inversion of an existing stratification pattern. The explanations on the sudden reverse of the gender gap in education can be explained using two approaches (Moller et al 269). One that concentrates on the stimulating forces known to drive young girls and the other that focuses on the limiting forces which obstruct the boys. The return on investment is a good example to use to describe approaches to the issue on gender gap. The approach concentrates on the long-term benefits of investment on education (Sommers 54). The approaches are an example of how gender discrimination occurs in education today.

             Higher numbers of girls are having interest and greater ambitions in education compared to girls. Some of the factors leading the sudden improvement of girls in education include; the poverty risk for women especially for single mothers. The fact that women are more likely to be hit by poverty makes young girls to study and thus doing better than boys. The divorce rates decreases depending on the education levels of both partners. Therefore, women become more motivated to pursue education in attempts to reduce the chances of divorce. In addition, the probability of girls engaging in relationships or marriage to men with similar academic qualifications increases the extent of their own formal qualifications. Therefore, girls get inspired to study in order to have a better position in the family. Moreover, ladies with proper academic trainings and high academic certificates earn considerably higher than women without academic degrees though are still paid less than men with similar qualifications. Therefore, girls get an inspiration to succeed in education for better earnings as compared to boys (Sommers 24).

            The role model approach explains the relatively poor performance of boys in education. The role model approach theory outlines that lack of good mentors for both social and performance development and the structural disadvantages in schools nurturing processes lead to the achievement deficit (Sommers 14). Female learning culture has been developed through wide engagement of female teachers in elementary institutions thus leading to greater inspiration for success in education for girls than boys.


The above discussion illustrates and argues for Christina Hoff Sommers notion that a war against boys exists in our schools. In the 1900s, boys performed better than girls in education. However, in the past decades, girls have been performing better than boys and stand at more advantaged position than the boys. In the 1960s, women rights advocates engaged in a campaign towards equal education for girls as that of boys. The campaigns were successful and through the years, the past discrimination of women is seen to justify a sort of reverse sexism that is prevalent in the modern world. In addition, from the above discussion and statistics, the rise of women in education has led to fall of men. Women have benefited from the war on boys while boys have continued to be negatively affected.

Works Cited

DiPrete, Thomas A., and Claudia Buchmann. The rise of women: The growing gender gap in education and what it means for American schools. Russell Sage Foundation, 2013.

Jacobs, Jerry A. "Gender inequality and higher education." Annual review of sociology 22.1 (1996): 153-185.

Moller, Stephanie, et al. "Changing course: the gender gap in college selectivity and opportunities to learn in the high school curriculum." Gender and Education 25.7 (2013): 851-871.

Pollitt, Katha. "The Hunger Games’ Feral Feminism." The Nation 23 (2012).

Sommers, Christina Hoff. The war against boys: How misguided policies are harming our young men. Simon and Schuster, 2013.

Tierney, John. "Male Pride and Female Prejudice." New York Times (2006): A17.

August 14, 2023

Education Sociology War

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