DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #95

Dear Granddaddy, why have boys fallen behind girls in U.S. education? Macey.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Well, Macey, I remember when I graduated from the University of Hartford in 1995. I was shocked by how outnumbered I was by the females. I figured that it was just the nature of the educational profession that caused this discrepancy.

After receiving your question, Macey, I did some research and some thinking. Today, 73% of female high school graduates go on to college while 66% of males do the same. There are 2.2 million more girls in college than boys.

Now I really began thinking. When I taught in an all-male international prep school in the mid-1990s, I thought their model of education may be better for our boys. Then, when I became a public school teacher, I saw the boundless energy of our elementary school boys. They were annoying the heck out of our female teachers by jumping out of their seats and waving their hands at every question, I knew then that we didn’t have the best educational model. Boys are not built to sit quietly all day long.

Furthermore, as our young boys find themselves falling behind female classmates, they figure school must be for girls, and they find ways to skillfully disengage from their education.

At home, parents are conditioned by society to accept that boys take longer than girls to mature. Therefore, before bedtime, little Johnny goes outside to throw the ball around with dad, while little Mary gets a book read to her by mom. The gap widens.

I can honestly say that I was one of those boys who didn’t like reading. I thought girls read while boys threw the ball around. After getting straight C’s in high school, I didn’t have many options, so I had to go into the Army before I could go to college.

When I finally got into college something amazing happened. I found I loved reading. And I eventually completed fourteen years of college and earned seven degrees. Ironically, I sometimes still wonder if I really do intellectually measure up to my female counterparts.

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Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in several of the world’s Top Ten Podcasts, and over 100 television and radio shows. He now also has a weekly TV show of his own. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: