Across OECD countries, there is an undeniable trend of “male decline” that is much commented upon, heavily researched and, increasingly, co-opted by reactionary forces who want to blame feminism for the difficulties of contemporary boys and men.
This decline is most remarkable in education trends. This week in NSW, the HSC school-leaving results were published, and they showed girls now outperform boys in most subjects. Girls are also gaining on boys in the traditionally male strongholds of mathematics and physics.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald report, this gender gap persists into university, with a 2022 University Admissions Centre study finding that boys enrol in university at lower rates than girls, they’re less likely to pass all their subjects, and more likely to fail everything.
The UAC study found that being male was “greater than any of the other recognised disadvantages we looked at”. That’s an extraordinary finding, and it’s not confined to Australia. In American colleges, there are roughly six female enrolments for every four male ones. “This is the largest female-male gender gap in the history of higher education, and it’s getting wider,” the Atlantic reported in 2021.
Male decline is eagerly pounced upon by “men’s rights activists” and anti-feminists who use it as proof that feminism has “gone too far” and that affirmative action and the woke agenda are displacing men.