Today's Reading: At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust

mon10jul2006—28w191d52%— 01h20m00s—0utc

The “boy crisis” is becoming something of a news bubble lately, today’s long sunday article on the New York Times is only its latest instance.

“The idea that girls could be ahead is so shocking that they think it must be a crisis for boys,” Ms. [Sara] Mead [author of a recent educational report] said.

Professors interviewed on several campuses say that in their experience men seem to cluster in a disproportionate share at both ends of the spectrum — students who are the most brilliantly creative, and students who cannot keep up.

What is beyond dispute is that the college landscape is changing. Women now make up 58 percent of those enrolled in two- and four-year colleges and are, over all, the majority in graduate schools and professional schools too.

Since the process of human development crosses all borders, it makes sense that Europe, too, now has more women than men heading to college. The disengagement of young men, though, takes different forms in different cultures. Japan, over the last decade, has seen the emergence of “hikikomori” — young men withdrawing to their rooms, eschewing social life for months or years on end.

At Dickinson [a U.S. College], some professors and administrators have begun to notice a similar withdrawal among men who arrive on campus with deficient social skills. Each year, there are several who mostly stay in their rooms, talk to no one, play video games into the wee hours and miss classes until they withdraw or flunk out.

Don’t forget to check out the excellent Wikipedia article on Japan’s Hikikomoris — it seems they (or should I say we?) are a pretty introspective crowd.

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