Quoted from Rise Up, O Men of God
– President Gordon B. Hinckley Oct 2006
I call your attention to another matter that gives me great concern. In revelation the Lord has mandated that this people get all the education they can. He has been very clear about this. But there is a troubling trend taking place. Elder Rolfe Kerr, Commissioner of Church Education, advises me that in the United States nearly 73 percent of young women graduate from high school, compared to 65 percent of young men. Young men are more likely to drop out of school than young women.
Approximately 61 percent of young men enroll in college immediately following high school, compared to 72 percent for young women.
In 1950, 70 percent of those enrolled in college were males, and 30 percent were females; by 2010 projections estimate 40 percent will be males, and 60 percent will be females.
Women have earned more bachelor’s degrees than men every year since 1982 and more master’s degrees since 1986.
It is plainly evident from these statistics that young women are exceeding young men in pursuing educational programs. And so I say to you young men, rise up and discipline yourself to take advantage of educational opportunities. Do you wish to marry a girl whose education has been far superior to your own? We speak of being “equally yoked.” That applies, I think, to the matter of education.
In addition, your education will strengthen your service in the Church. A study was made some years ago that indicated the higher the education, the greater the faith and participation in religious activity.
What exactly is Mr. Hinckley trying to say?
I’d like to hope that he is not arguing that women shouldn’t be getting more education that men. I’d also like to think that he isn’t saying that women are getting too much education either.
But when he says,”Do you wish to marry a girl whose education has been far superior to your own?” I can’t help but wonder how close is this to saying,”You don’t want a girl to beat you, do you?”
My follow-up question would be,”What exactly is wrong with marrying a woman who has more education than I?” Why, it almost sounds as if the President is discouraging men from marrying a woman who may be smarter than you. I guess he would prefer most men to be bachelors … I guess than won’t really work out either. Dumb guys, I guess you’re in a lose-lose situation.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe what Mr. Hinckley really meant to say is,”C’mon boys! Let’s all strive to be better, by golly!” but that’s certainly not how it reads.
I’d also like to take issue with the last line I quoted.
Research is all over the map in regard to a correlation between religiosity and level of education. I’m not sure which study to which Mr. Hinckley refers, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on the whole people with degrees are more religious argument quite yet.
Curiously (or maybe not so much) the LDS are the statistical anomaly where there is a high level of education coupled with a high level of church participation (note I did not specifically mention spirituality).
There’s plenty of reading and research on the topic, though.
I can’t seem to find any free, live links but I did find:
Wikipedia has a page on it which straddles the topic.
Richard Dawkins talks about it in his new book and in a Salon article where he determines quite the opposite as Mr. Hinckley.