This summer, All Things Considered is looking at the lives of men in America. By some measures, not much has changed over the past few decades — girls still do better in school, and men still make more money. In other areas, the shifts are profound.
We’ve charted some of the more surprising changes below. It’s important to note that in all instances we are depicting the generalized American man, flattened across racial and socio-economic groups. Looking at the statistics through any of those or other lenses can admittedly provide a different picture.
While life has changed significantly for American men in the past half-century, notions of masculinity remain tied to those that may have been passed down from this father to the son on his shoulders.
It’s well-documented that boys don’t perform as well in school as girls. It starts early — girls are more highly verbal as young children and, for developmental and socialization reasons, they tend to adapt better to the school environment, which requires sitting still and following directions.