Research shows that students who view reading as a pleasurable activity tend to read more frequently. Research also shows that reading more frequently is one of the best ways to improve reading skills. It’s not surprising, then, that the average reading score for Taiwanese fourth graders on the most recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study was 13 points higher for girls (compared to boys), and the average reading score for Taiwanese 15-year-olds on the most recent PISA was 21 points higher for girls (than for boys).
Since 1998, more Taiwanese women have been enrolled in higher education than men. The proportion of educated women has increased each year while the proportion of educated men has decreased. The research is clear: greater reading skills equates to greater success in school. The consequences are also clear: if something isn’t done to improve boys’ reading skills in Taiwan, then fewer and fewer boys will continue on to higher education.
As jobs that require little education have increasingly diminished, more and more men have become unemployed. Since 1996, male unemployment rates in Taiwan have been significantly higher than those of females. This unemployment rate gender gap has widened over the years and is partially responsible for Taiwan’s unemployment rate hitting a record high this year (see chart above).
MP: Thegender degree gap and the mancession are apparently not isolated to the U.S., they are both becoming global phenomena.