It is widely assumed that the traditional male domination of post secondary education, highly paid occupations, and elite professions is a virtually immutable fact of the U.S. economic landscape. But in reality, this landscape is undergoing a tectonic shift. Although a significant minority of males continues to reach the highest echelons of achievement in education and labor markets, the median male is moving in the opposite direction. Over the last three decades, the labor market trajectory of males in the U.S. has turned downward along four dimensions: skills acquisition; employment rates; occupational stature; and real wage levels.
- …these profound changes in family structure reinforce and exacerbate the divergent educational and economic trends of males and females.
- …the absence of stable fathers from children’s lives has particularly significant adverse consequences for boys’ psychosocial development and educational achievement.
- …the female advantage in educational attainment is substantially more pronounced in female-headed households and in households where the father is less educated than the mother.