Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Why Aren't Men Going To College?

Do disappearing college males know something we don’t?

Recent reports that the male percentage of the U.S. college population has fallen to 40%, the lowest ever, have generated predictable concerns. If, as it is often said, today’s young people will need at least a bachelor’s degree to be successful in tomorrow’s economy, then the reluctance of so many men to pursue one would seem to be a threat, both to themselves and to the larger society. How will the coming contingent of low-educated men fare in an increasingly technological world? And how will the relatively high number of successful women find enough husbands to form families and nurture successive generations?

Yet history teaches that trends that at first seem irrational, anti-social, or even self-destructive can sometimes reflect an underlying wisdom. Certainly, those families that abandoned the relative security of ancient Italy for the Roman Empire’s more distant provinces ended up far less vulnerable to the later barbarian invaders. Similarly, many of the medieval patients who defied their doctors’ orders and declined the standard bloodletting treatment likely saved their own lives. Coming closer to the present, those investors who did not go along with the “can’t miss” margin account strategy so popular on Wall Street in the summer of 1928 had good reason to congratulate themselves just a year later.

Could something similar be happening with the growing number of young men who refuse to go from high school on to college? Are they smarter than they appear? Judging by the reader comments attached to the various alarmist articles on declining male enrollment, a good number of their countrymen suspect they are.

Political future #1...........Political future #2...........An abusive and uncaring educational system.......... Useless coursework............. In 2005, Dr John Ioannidis, co-director of Stanford University’s Meta-Research Innovation Center, published an influential study which showed that much of what for passes for ”settled science” in medicine, biology, economics, education research, the social sciences, and other university disciplines cannot, in fact, be replicated. In other words, by the ultimate test of scientific validity—getting the same result from repeating the same experiment—a lot of what professors teach their students isn’t true.  Indeed, concerns about what is called “experimental irreproducibility” have been growing for nearly a decade. In 2012, scientists at the biotech firm Amgen found they could confirm the results of only six of 53 supposedly landmark cancer studies published in prominent journals. Four years later, Nature conducted an online survey of scientists, 70 percent of whom said they’d tried and failed to reproduce their colleagues’ published findings.

But when the academy is enrolling 50 percent more women than the opposite sex, young men are clearly trying to tell us something important. And those school officials who continue to respond by just tinkering on the margins are grossly failing in their duty to the larger society........To Read More....


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