The first paragraph of the feature on the increasing number of women in higher education, “Why is Martha doing better than Arthur?” (10 May), says it all: “There are now more women than men in higher education worldwide. While it would appear to be a victory for gender equality…” Why would a growing gender imbalance against men be a victory for gender equality?
The websites of teachers’ unions make numerous references to female teachers, black and minority ethnic teachers, LGBT and disability, but nothing on male teachers, who are a minority, and nothing on boys, who are performing far worse than girls in schools.
There are endless programmes to address the shrinking areas where girls do worse than boys, but next to none that address the much larger areas where girls outperform boys. Studies have shown significant bias in the marking of boys’ work by female teachers and, perhaps worse, others have shown that boys are aware of this.
There is in the UK and other Western countries a substantial, institutionalised and ubiquitous discrimination against boys in education. If we seek to achieve fairness and if we want boys to do better, it must be addressed. Positive discrimination is a red herring while there is pervasive anti-boy, anti-male bias in the system.