Girls Outnumber Boys in Educational Success Due to a Lack of Motivation in Boys
In today’s society, women work extremely hard to achieve the same level of success as men. Throughout generations, we have internalized messages that have suggested men are smarter, better, and more capable than women in the working world. When women and men who obtain the same achievements are compared, people often still consider women to be less capable, selfish, or undesirable as co-workers. Having high expectations of people is a good thing, but having a difference in expected standards between men and women is unacceptable. How is this standard affecting motivation in youth? A recent article by Psychology Today states that educational success in girls has risen, but fallen for boys due to a lack of motivation.
The Rise of Girls
In a career world where women have to work twice as hard to succeed, it’s not surprising that a lack of motivation has developed in boys. Recent research showed that among 42 public high schools in Boston, 30 valedictorians were girls, 12 were boys. In general, among students earning highest honors, girls now typically outnumber boys by 2 to 1, or more.
The gender stereotypes society is attached to is creating a lack of motivation in boys today. American girls have always earned slightly better grades than boys. But over the past three decades, boys are now markedly under-represented among those earning A’s.
If we continue to allow media to internalize messages that men are better, smarter, and more capable, boys are going to continue to express very little motivation to succeed. Gender shouldn’t determine the pressure society puts on youth to become successful.
Media Exposure Linked to Motivation
According to Psychology Today, there are multiple factors that are creating a lack of motivation in boys. One being video games. Many boys, want to feel as if they have conquered or triumphed against a great challenge.
In the past, to achieve this feeling boys would have attempted to excel at something in the real world, like a challenging career or sport. Today, boys don’t boast about their life achievements, they boast about their accomplishments in videogames.
Another factor is the normalization of pornography for teenage boys. Sexual intimacy with women has been a major motivator for a young man throughout history. To achieve this, men worked hard to make something of themselves to impress young women. Porn has replaced actual intimacy for many young men, causing a lack of motivation and shift away from the realities of the real world.
Need for a Change
Both of these factors contributing to a lack of motivation in boys, are connected to media exposure. Boys are basing achievement off of unrealistic platforms. Due to this, a lack of motivation has embodied many young boys and men. Almost 20 years ago, scholars were voicing concerns about the underrepresentation of girls among high academic achievers. Today, the situations have reversed. As a society, we need to get back to promoting realistic achievements to youth, and stop setting unequal expectations based on gender.
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Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, ages 10-14, struggling with depression, ADHD, anxiety, and other behavioral or mental issues.