NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Boys, Not Girls, May Be Short-Changed In School

July 20, 2000

For some years, advocacy groups such as the American Association of University Women have claimed that girls are the victims of sex-based bias in schools, as reflected in their poorer school performance. But a recent report from the U.S. Department of Education, "Trends in Educational Equity for Girls & Women," establishes that boys are more at risk of being short-changed.

  • While the study showed that boys did slightly better in math and science courses, girls were far and away the superior students overall.
  • The writing skills of female eighth-graders were comparable with those of 11th-grade males.
  • And boys are on average about 1.5 years behind girls in reading.

The mistaken notion girls were lagging boys in school led Congress to pass the Gender Equity in Education Act in 1993. After intense lobbying by women's advocacy groups, the act provided massive resources for special aid to female students.

Source: Christina Hoff Sommers (American Enterprise Institute), "What 'Girl Crisis'? Boys Get Short Shrift in Schools," USA Today, July 17, 2000.

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