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Kristof Returns to the Gender Gaps

The End of Men? Not quite, concludes the New York Times columnist today, who nicely cites Why Boys Fail.

From the column:

My hunch is that we're moving into greater gender balance, not a fundamentally new imbalance in the other direction. Don't hold your breath for "the end of men."

One reason is that women's gains still have a catch-up quality to them. Catch-up is easier than forging ahead.

Moreover, the differences in educational performance are real but modest. In math, boys and girls are about equal. In verbal skills, 79 percent of elementary schoolgirls can read at a level deemed proficient, compared with 72 percent of boys, according to the Center on Education Policy.

The real gender divides are in the outcomes, which in the end is all that matters -- 62 percent of two-year degrees going to women and 57 percent of four-year degrees. What impact this will have on the economy (given that men and women pursue different careers) is unknown.

What is inevitable from these imbalances falls on the personal side, the "marriageable mate" dilemma that has affected so many African American women. Unable to find an equally educated mate, they chose not to marry. Will this happen among white women? It already is: even among whites as a group, 57 percent of the four-year degree earners are women. I've seen no other explanation for the sharp rise in the number of college-educated white women opting for sperm banks rather than husbands.

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