A new kind of ‘gender gap’ is starting to gain attention, but it has to do with boys and the declining numbers of male college enrollment, coupled with more data about how young men appear to be falling behind.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently posted a lengthy thread on Twitter about the “crisis among American boys and men,” a problem that he says is being widely ignored by the mainstream media and policy proposals.
Men now comprise only 40.5% of college students and are failing in high school at much higher rates. There’s a crisis among American boys and men that is too often ignored and is definitely going unaddressed.
— Andrew Yang🧢⬆️🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) January 27, 2022
As The Daily Wire previously reported, new data provided by the National Student Clearinghouse showed that U.S. colleges and universities experienced a decline of almost 500,000 undergraduate students in the fall of 2021, keeping up with a drop that started the fall prior, NPR noted.
However, this is affecting men on a broader scale than it appears to be affecting female students.
According to the Brookings Institute, college enrollment has been declining in recent years, but the decrease was seen most intensely among male students. Overall enrollment for the fall of 2020 was down 13% than the year prior, but the decrease in male enrollment was more than seven times bigger than the decline in female enrollment at -5.1% for men and -.7% for women.
In the fall of 2020, only 41% of students who are enrolled in a postsecondary establishment were male.
Young men are also not as likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to graduate from college after enrollment. At every stage of education, women have been graduating at higher rates than men. This is true for high school, two-year colleges, and four-year colleges.
This has also resulted in men getting fewer degrees than women. According to Brookings, in the 2018-2019 academic year, around 74 men got a bachelor’s degree for every 100 women who received one. In the same time period, women received 61% of the associate’s degrees, 61% of the master’s degrees, and 54% of doctoral degrees.
The institute pointed out that this wasn’t always the case. While more women have had a BA degree or higher starting with those who were born in 1955 up to those born in 2001, of those who were born in 1954 or before, men held more of the degrees.
The statistics have almost flipped themselves.
For those who were born before 1955, and therefore were 65 years old and up in 2019, men were 9 percentage points more likely than women to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Out of people who were born from 1985 to 1994 — and therefore, were 25 to 34 years old in 2019 — men were 8 percentage points less likely to have attained that level of education than were women.
There are other gaps that exist between boys and girls that are just beginning to be more widely discussed and referenced.
More men ages 18 to 34 are living with their parents than their female counterparts. According to a report including data about 2014, 35% of men were living at their parents’ home while 29% of women were doing the same.
This is potentially partially due to the decline in employment for young men. In 2014, just 71% of men ages 18 to 34 had a job. Their wages have also reportedly been going down since 1970, with a sharp decline from 2000 to 2010.
Boys are also more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some research has suggested this could be due to the fact that boys are more likely to exhibit expressive symptoms that are easier to identify, leading girls to be underdiagnosed.
Boys are also more likely to be incarcerated than girls. Children’s Defense Fund noted that in 2017, the residential placement rate for boys was over five times the rate for girls. In addition, 85% of kids in residential placement were boys.
As culture continues to focus on the achievements of women and girls, the conversation might begin to shift to the problems arising for young boys as their achievements are sidelined.
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