College and the Decline of American Men

By John Stonestreet & Kasey Leander

In yet another indicator that they are not ok, men in America are abandoning higher education in record numbers. According to the Wall Street Journal, at the end of the 2020 academic year, the percentage of male college students dropped to just over 40 percent. Soon, if current trend lines continue, one expert predicts, for every man who earns a college degree, two women will earn a degree.

On one hand, this says as much about the state of higher education as it does young men. Simply put, the ROI of higher education is just not what it used to be. Not only are students bombarded by narrow, progressive ideologies with little real-world application, they often graduate with no marketable skill set, high levels of debt, and no compelling vision for how to spend their lives. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there are 1.5 million fewer college students today than there were five years ago.

Still, for men, who represent 71 percent of those abandoning higher education, return on investment is extra low. Not only are they overpaying for college, but at many schools they can expect to be consistently berated for things they have no control over, like for their ethnicity, or for simply being men.

“No college wants to tackle the issue under the glare of gender politics,” says enrollment expert Jennifer Delahunty. “The conventional view on campuses is that men make more money [and] hold higher positions. Why should we give them a little shove from high school to college?” In other words, it’s politically incorrect to help men succeed.

All of this is set against an even larger backdrop: “perpetual adolescence.” While at other times and in other places, teenaged young men would be fighting battles or managing farms or embarking on grand adventures, today we punish them with low expectations. Teenagers, especially young men, are expected to care for nothing, have no job, and spend most of their time playing video games.

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