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“When my daughters were small they had a favorite bit of doggerel that prefigured some early feminist leanings.
“Girls go to college to get more knowledge/Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider,” they would chant at me, and, with more evident passion, at any young males in their vicinity. I’d try to take issue with the grammatical betise in the second line that, I would point out, slightly undermined the premise of the jibe, but it was no good. Girls were smarter than boys and immeasurably superior in just about every other respect.
On that, of course, I have never dared demur.
But as it turns out, and as my girls progress with grace and accomplishment up the gilded escalator of their liberal education, there’s a searing piece of truth in that couplet that points up a deep demographic chasm in this country and in much of the developed world.
The gender imbalance in educational attainment is getting larger every year. That may spell good news, ultimately, for income and employment equality—but it presages increasingly problematic social conditions for generations of men and women.”
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