In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 23, 2008 / 18 Iyar 5768

The ‘CRISIS!’ Crisis

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Declaring and debunking crises has become a subsidiary industry of the gender wars.

The latest to roll off the D&D assembly line is a study from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) that purports to debunk the idea of a "boys crisis," which followed closely on the heels of a purported "girls crisis."

Boys are doing just fine, say the AAUW authors, who also insist that the boy crisis was a fabrication of people who are uncomfortable with the progress of girls and women. The authors also assert that girls' development hasn't come at the expense of boys, as some allegedly claim.

These conclusions are somewhat baffling given that they are (1) untrue — boys are not fine, as abundant evidence makes clear; (2) they refute what has never been claimed.

What is true is that when attention rightly focused on girls' special needs — thanks in part to the 1992 AAUW report, "How Schools Shortchange Girls" — boys were, wrongly, shuttled to the back burner.

And, who are these people who don't want girls to succeed? Surely not the parents of boys who hope their sons someday will find a suitable mate — someone smart, interesting, creative, accomplished, and, preferably, not seething with gender rage.

The AAUW report does present some compelling findings indicating that the real education crisis is tied more to race and family income than to gender. That is, both boys and girls in certain groups (African-American and Hispanic) and children from low-income homes are doing almost equally poorly.

But those findings don't justify the conclusion that boys aren't in trouble. According to Judith Kleinfeld, psychology professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and director of The Boys Project (www.boysproject.net), illiteracy rates among high school boys are higher than among girls; the reading gap for boys is larger at all ages and increases with age; boys receive lower marks from grade school through college.

Boys excel, meanwhile, at drug and alcohol abuse, addiction to computer games, delinquency, emotional disturbances, suicide, conduct disorders and a variety of other psychiatric disorders.

By trumpeting advances of both sexes while ignoring problems characteristic of boys, the AAUW authors' purpose seems clear — to divert attention from the "boy problem" lest any more attention be siphoned from programs built around the alleged girl crisis.

Much can be inferred from the defensive tone of the study and from the people the authors chose to attack. One target was Christina Hoff Sommers, the cool-headed philosopher and American Enterprise Institute scholar who wrote "The War Against Boys," which the AAUW authors describe as "incendiary."

The report also mentions former Harvard president Lawrence Summers, who was derided for suggesting innate differences between men and women that might partly explain why fewer women than men excel in science and math.

He was essentially run out of town for those "incorrect" thoughts. Summers discovered that "too many female scholars hold the 'right' degrees ... to allow a public reference to male superiority in any field to stand unchallenged," wrote AAUW president Barbara O'Connor.

Of course, Summers' faux pas (which is not intended as a slight toward faux mas) occurred before yet another study, released earlier this month, suggested that one important explanation for the math/science gender gap is that some highly qualified women simply prefer other jobs. Reasons vary for those preferences — possibly including sexism but not excluding innate differences. Data show, for instance, that women prefer to work with organic or living things while men prefer inorganic matter.

Whom do we sue?

While the AAUW study provides some encouraging statistics that show the gender gap narrowing, other important aspects of learning and living are essential to understanding what ails boys today. And, let's be clear, recognizing that males are in trouble does not mean that girls aren't also having their own problems.

Boys and girls are simply different, a fact easily observed by those treading terra firma. They have different learning styles and face different challenges. Which is why Kleinfeld says the AAUW study is not only "misleading" and "self-serving" but it poses the wrong questions.

The relevant question is: "Are there gender-specific differences that are characteristic of boys and are there gender-specific differences that are characteristic of girls? The answer is yes." The challenge is to identify what they are and develop strategies to deal with them, not pretend that they don't exist.

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