On June 20, 2008, I watched a fascinating interview on the Fox News program “The O’Reilly Factor.” The guest was the author of a book charging that American public schools were systematically feminizing boys. She explained that the literature in textbooks, for instance, was free of the stories boys like to read. Teen students get a steady fare of stories about depression, weight and drug problems, and so on. This effort, she said, was intentional. “Sex equity experts” were examining textbooks to ensure that girls found the reading matter interesting.
But what are the consequences? Girls are doing well in school, but boys are at the back of the class. According to a Stanford University post in 2013, “the Department of Education estimates that women will earn 61.6% of all associate’s degrees this year, 56.7% of all bachelor’s degrees, 59.9% of all master’s degrees, and 51.6% of all doctor’s degrees. Overall, 140 women will graduate with a college degree at some level this year for every 100 men” (www.collegepuzzle.stanford.edu).
Churches and Christian families must avoid making the same mistake. Young boys are not little girls with strong muscles and sweaty socks. A boy, even from babyhood, is a little warrior. Sitting quietly with hands in lap is pure torture for most boys. They love to wrestle, sprint, jump bikes off of thrown-together ramps, and watch stuff burn and explode.
The differences between boys and girls can be traced back to God’s original design. The Lord created us “male and female” (Gen. 1:27). Wise Christian parents and Bible school teachers acknowledge boys’ unique needs and try to make the gospel appealing to them. But how? By teaching them about rugged, manly Bible characters. By emphasizing the need for strength and courage. By doing hands-on class activities.