April 4, 2005

Dumbing Boys Down

"Wrong Answer" In my new VDARE column, I note that the WSJ declares that Larry Summers was wrong. Their proof? English boys have been getting stupider about math:

The math gender gap has closed largely by English boys becoming more ignorant.

What Whalen and Begley don't mention is that in recent decades, millions of Britain's young males have adopted a philosophy of "laddism." Being "one of the lads" is proven by one's dedication to cutting school, machismo, brawling, drunkenness, soccer hooliganism, anti-intellectualism, and property crime. The lads of Britain have been increasingly turning against schoolwork and honest jobs, with disastrous effects on society as a whole—as seen in the sky-high property crime rates in what used to be one of the world's most law-abiding societies.

This is a significant omission, because way back in 2000, the BBC inquired into the same phenomenon as Whalen and Begley … and came to very different conclusions:

“Britain's academics are asking why girls now outperform boys at A-Level. Their conclusion? The UK's anti-intellectual ‘lad culture’ and our, now notorious, lads' mags…

“Two British academics have blamed a culture of ‘laddism’ where successful male students are ‘geeks;’ and a cultivated indifference to intellectual pursuits is as de rigueur as having a mobile phone.

“Tony Sewell, a lecturer in education at Leeds University says a 'black youth culture' which prizes trainers [athletic shoes] and CDs over exam grades has now captured the imaginations of boys across the board.

“Dr Mary James of Cambridge University says such a climate is being stoked by so-called ‘lad mags,’ which in the absence of other male role models help define the teenage understanding of ‘masculinity.’”

The brilliant British comic Sacha Baron-Cohen famously parodies white and Pakistani youths' infatuation with black American gangsta rappers with his character Ali G, a canary yellow sweatsuit and gold chain-wearing idiot.

Britain’s crime rate is now substantially worse than that of the U.S. For example, the 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey reported that for every 100 people, there were 55 crimes committed in Britain compared to 40 in the U.S.

Immigrants, especially West Indians, have contributed heavily to this inglorious record. But the most important cause has been a moral collapse among Britain’s white working class males—who in the first half of the 20th Century were famous for their honesty. The British prison psychiatrist who writes under the nom de plume Theodore Dalrymple has vividly described the decay of the working class in his book Life at the Bottom.

Not surprisingly, the massive government effort to feminize math classes praised by the WSJ women appears to have made the lads even less inclined to study math.

It's a reflection of how messed up feminists' priorities are that Whalen and Begley salute this latest triumph of "laddism" as a victory for women.

Those poor English schoolgirls, whatever their math scores, are going to have to live the rest of their lives with those dumbed-down English lads. [More]

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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