Women are too smart? – Hinckley

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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.

74 thoughts on “Women are too smart? – Hinckley

  1. tortdog – I was having the same problem you mentioned and I found that if I did a refresh after the submit, the post would appear. You might try it and see if it works for you.

  2. ltbugaf – Law Student – I am impressed. Are you currently in law school? If so are you a 1, 2 or 3?

  3. It has been many years since I had a Bishop or SP that did not have advance degrees. The days of the humble servant seems to have been replaced by the professional.

    The Bishops I am familiar with have JD’s, MD’s, PHd’s, etc.

    Do you think the best men for the position of Bishop should have an advance degree? Should it be a requirement in the US?

  4. One of my bishops in Colorado was a custodian. I think the “best men for the position of Bishop” are those called by God, irrespective of their degrees or professions.

  5. Mary:

    >I am not talking about “leadership” courses. I am talking about leadership TRAINING. Learning how to be truly a leader by STUDYING from the lives of great leaders, studying the classics.

    How do you know that most (or many) universities in North America do not have that in the syllabus of their leadership courses?

    George:
    >Do you think the best men for the position of Bishop should have an advance degree? Should it be a requirement in the US?

    I do not. And I would strenuously disagree if it ever became a requirement. I think one reason it DOES happen (often) is because these people might have more free time as they get older, and more disposable income to be able to devote more time/assets to the Church service. Just trying to explain, not justify.

    Regarding that message, it did take (I see it above now). So you can ignore the second post, as it really is a rehash of the first.

    I didn’t see answers to these questions yet:

    Mary:

    * So when I state that studying 18 credits per semester will generally result in a person reading/learning more than a person who is not so enrolled, is it your position that on average the unenrolled will read/learn just as much (or more) than the enrolled?

    * Marion G. Romney once said,

    >And God equally created all men unequal.

    Can you see why that might be true?

    * However, all men have the duty to seek as much education as possible. Correct?

    Rick:

    * Any suggestions on where I could read about schools/college type environments existing in ancient Israel (online would be particularly helpful, but I have access to a traditional library as well).

    * Do you think that the only two reasons that you don’t see many older tradesmen working are: (i) 1) they own and operate their businesses in an administrative capacity and (ii) they are so well off, they have no need to work late into their lives?

  6. “How do you know that most (or many) universities in North America do not have that in the syllabus of their leadership courses?”

    Studying the writings of individuals such as Oliver Van DeMille, Allan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind”, another good resource would be Mortimer J. Adler’s Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind”.

    “* However, all men have the duty to seek as much education as possible. Correct?”

    I have not disputed this. You might want to add all women too. But again, that doesn’t make trade education of less worth. However if you look at education as I (and many others) look at it, education does not begin nor does it end in the classroom.

    Ancient Israel and Education: James L. Crenshaw. Education in Ancient Israel: Across the Deadening Silence.

    You might keep in mind that though there isn’t a plethora of information on education in Ancient Israel, common sense dictates that it existed.

  7. Mary.

    Wait. Are you suggesting that leadership courses need to stress the study of the classics, e.g., Plato, and Aristotle?

    >You might want to add all women too.

    You seriously are going to play PC and word games now?

    I’ll play. Did you know that Christ did not redeem women from the fall?

    >Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him. 2 Nephi 9:5

    Are you aware of studies showing that the greater the education (even including community colleges) one receives, the greater the increase in average earnings and a reduction in social problems like crime, welfare, and drug abuse?

    I mean, is this news?

  8. There were some questions you left unanswered. I don’t think that they require any study/research. Should be simple:

    * So when I state that studying 18 credits per semester will generally result in a person reading/learning more than a person who is not so enrolled, is it your position that on average the unenrolled will read/learn just as much (or more) than the enrolled?

    * Do you agree with this statement:

    >And God equally created all men unequal.

  9. “Wait. Are you suggesting that leadership courses need to stress the study of the classics, e.g., Plato, and Aristotle?”

    Actually, yes I am. Not just ancient classics either.

    “is it your position that on average the unenrolled will read/learn just as much (or more) than the enrolled?”

    Will? Not necessarily. Can? Yes.

    “* Do you agree with this statement:

    >And God equally created all men unequal. “

    Technically, yes. But not inequal as far as of worth. Anyone can become anything they want to be. No one is better or worse than another person in the eyes of God.

    “You seriously are going to play PC and word games now?”

    I am not referring to this as a politically correct statement. I am aware of the use of “men” to mean mankind. However, I am a woman, I prefer to be referred to as a woman and not as a “man”. It has nothing to do with being politically correct. Nor do I play games. I am far to old for that.

    “Are you aware of studies showing that the greater the education (even including community colleges) one receives, the greater the increase in average earnings and a reduction in social problems like crime, welfare, and drug abuse?

    I mean, is this news? “

    Why are you turning this into a blue collar/white collar argument? Studies do show it, yes I am aware of that, but keep in mind that many of these studies don’t take all factors into consideration. By strictly looking at education, they miss other important factors that play a huge role in defeating these issues. I am not saying everyone needs to be a plumber or a truck driver. I am saying that by negating the value of trades, you are giving the impression that people who are in these fields don’t have as important a role, as those in professional or leadership positions (and no, professional does not equate leadership education. To learn more about this, you can look into the writings of Thomas Jefferson.) Leadership education is not the same as learning to be a manager. It is learning to be a true leader, a mentor, among people. It comes from studying the classics, the lives of great leaders in history from BEING mentored. Not just taught by a teacher, but being mentored by a REAL teacher. Jesus Christ was a carpenter, but He was also a Leader. Someone people want to follow and emulate.

  10. >Actually, yes I am. Not just ancient classics either.

    Okay. You fault universities for not using the study of classics in leadership courses. When is the last time you saw a vocational school using ANY classics for ANYTHING. I may not have studied the classics in my business courses, but I did in literature and logic courses.

    >Will? Not necessarily. Can? Yes.

    We agree.

    >Technically, yes. But not inequal as far as of worth. Anyone can become anything they want to be. No one is better or worse than another person in the eyes of God.

    We agree.

    >I am not referring to this as a politically correct statement. I am aware of the use of “men” to mean mankind. However, I am a woman, I prefer to be referred to as a woman and not as a “man”. It has nothing to do with being politically correct. Nor do I play games. I am far to old for that.

    But I wasn’t referring to you. I was referring to “all men.” You then objected suggesting that I include women as well. That suggests that you do NOT believe that the usage of “men” to refer to both men and women is proper (a relatively recent PC position).

    >Why are you turning this into a blue collar/white collar argument?

    But I do not demean “blue collar” workers. You introduced that term. I don’t even use it. A person with a college degree can still be a craftsman. All I argue is that we should seek education. While that can certainly include skills, the prophet was clearly discussing college education. The studies he was referring to address COLLEGE education, not vocational education.

    Someone took umbrage because I didn’t include vocational education. Well, I didn’t. And neither dit he prophet. So let’s not add words to what he said, and let’s not suggest that the I or the prophet cast people into different classes based on whether they went to college or not.

    Individual worth matters. But the prophet clearly pointed out that our men need to start going to college more. And now.

  11. “Okay. You fault universities for not using the study of classics in leadership courses. When is the last time you saw a vocational school using ANY classics for ANYTHING. I may not have studied the classics in my business courses, but I did in literature and logic courses.”

    I didn’t say they do. I don’t believe they do. Do you still study the classics? It isn’t a “school” thing, it’s a life long process. I am seperating, most certainly a leadership education from a vocational education. My arguments with you on these issues are not synonymous.

    “While that can certainly include skills, the prophet was clearly discussing college education. The studies he was referring to address COLLEGE education, not vocational education.”

    Well I don’t know about the US, but in Canada, vocations can be learned in College as well. Universities are reserved for a strictly academic/arts education. Well, generally. We have seperate universities and colleges. They aren’t the same thing.

  12. “The time to go to school is NOT after you are married and have children.”

    Arguably, the time to start having children is not in one’s 30s.

  13. When someone in the United States refers to a college, he is generally referring to a university. When discussing a vocational or trade school, they aren’t referred to as colleges. those who do are trying to suggest a message that they are equivalent to a traditional college/university, but its a marketing gimmick.

  14. I never said anything about starting to have children in your 30’s I said getting married should be done AFTER you have done your schooling not the other way round as it makes it more difficult.

    And yes I know what you are going to say Kim… if you don’t marry till you are 30 then obviously you aren’t going to start your family till you are 30ish.

    Besides I said that if I had my way MY children would not have gotten married and started their families until after they were done school.. but that would have meant I lived in ideal world not in a real one :)

  15. tortdog

    I am aware of that. However, keep in mind that this is a Canadian blog and we have a somewhat different education system in Canada. Our Colleges aren’t just vocational schools. We have vocational schools, colleges and universities. No marketing gimmick here.

  16. Marriage is basically for the family, and when people have found their proper companions there should be no long delay. They should live together normally and let the children come. -Spencer W. Kimball

  17. My debt load wishes no prophet had ever said this. As education costs rise, will young LDS students receive different counsel?

  18. So did you decide if women are too smart and need to be dumbed down to make them ideal wives and mothers?

    Maybe only in Utah and Alberta?

  19. Bill, I keep trying to figure out why you’re always looking for an excuse to make immature insults about Utah and Alberta. Do you have some axe to grind?

  20. George are you kidding me????????? do women need to be dumbed down?? Have you fallen on your head to make that kind of comment on a blog filled with women and expect no retaliation?

  21. It was a joke Sally. My wife is an attorney and she is very smart. I believe women need to be educated.

    ltbugaf – I was playing off something Mary had written about in Utah and Southern Alberta they like to marry the girls early in life. It was also a joke.

  22. Then George I suggest you put a happy face :) or a j/k (just kidding) at the end of your sentences so people know you are joking otherwise people only get the words and they tend to really rub the wrong way.

  23. That’s fine, Mary. But the reason the comment came up is that the prophet mentioned that we should be going to college. I’m sure he is using the American spin on what college means.

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