The way boys are treated in K-12 also impacts how they do with regard to college. According to a recent study of male college enrollment, it's not academic performance, but discipline that holds boys back. "Controlling for these non-cognitive behavioral factors can explain virtually the entire female advantage in college attendance for the high school graduating class of 1992, after adjusting for family background, test scores and high school achievement." Boys are disciplined more because teachers -- overwhelmingly female -- find stereotypically male behavior objectionable. Girls are quieter, more orderly, and have better handwriting. The boys get disciplined more, suspended more and are turned off of education earlier.Title IX for boys isn't the answer. Getting women out of the business of educating boys is. We already know from the pathologies of single-mother families that women can't be reasonably expected to successfully raise men. The evidence now indicates that it is nearly as unreasonable to expect women to be able to successfully teach boys.
Female teachers also give boys lower grades, according to research in Britain. Female teachers grade boys more harshly than girls, though, interestingly, male teachers are seen by girls as treating everyone the same regardless of gender. More and more, it's looking like schools are a hostile environment for boys.
One solution, as William Gormley, a professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, has suggested here in the past, is to hire more male teachers. As Gormley notes, Stanford University professor Thomas Dee found that "boys perform better when they have a male teacher, and girls perform better when they have a female teacher." Yet our K-12 teachers are overwhelmingly female -- only 2% of pre-K and kindergarten teachers are male and only 18% of elementary and middle-school teachers are.
The problem isn't just the maleducation, but that the lack of exposure to male role models creates increasingly feminized men even when it doesn't leave them largely feral.