Boys are now among the most challenging groups with whom we work as psychotherapists. During the past two decades, boyhood has received special attention, and with good reason: boyhood is being radically redefined. As a result, the number of vulnerable boys who require our attention and care has increased significantly. Some of them are just entering kindergarten; others are graduating from high school or college and manoeuvering their way in a world of work that has increasingly fewer places for them; a decreasing number are in graduate school. Ever more are disconnected, disaffiliated and adrift.
Entries in Resources: Education Outcomes (11)
The latest higher education graduation figures from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, show that the gap between women and men in higher education continues to widen.
A historical overview of the gender breakdown of Australian higher education graduates including the latest 2006 figures shows how the gender balance in our universities has almost completely inverted over the past 28 years. If things continue at this rate, female graduates will outnumber male graduates by a ratio of 2:1 by the year 2016.
You can download a PDF of the latest graduation figures here.
A front page story was published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 4th May, 2005 by Linda Doherty, about the NSW Education Department's 2002 publication "Making a Difference for Boys" being banned from distribution to schools. For further comment from Miranda Devine on this iniquitous and sexist bureaucratic behaviour (SMH, May 5th 2005), click here.
Dr Peter West from the University of Western Sydney has written an article which sets out some key developments in girls and boys education in the last twelve years and explores "how boys came to be on the political agenda". Its focus is on education in Australia, particularly New South Wales.
A discussion paper by Dr Peter West prepared for the Gender Equity Taskforce in NSW many years ago - unfortunately, it is still relevant.
This paper argues that much has been written about gender and education. However, we cannot assume that everything we know about girls applies to boys. For example, some writers on girls' education, have said that role models have limited application to girls. But the boys and men I have been interviewing for the last three years say that role models are important to them. It is clear that most boys are raised by their own mothers, and by mostly-female teachers. Girls may lack certain kinds of role models, but they usually have people of their own sex close to them as they grow up. The same is not true of boys. Thus it is clear that we cannot always take knowledge about girls and apply it to boys.