But men in the upper and middle classes who go to college are showing no signs of demoralization or imminent demise. In fact, she said, men all over the world are dominating the ranks of the most successful, just as they are struggle on the opposite end of the scale.
"They fail and succeed dramatically," Sommers said. "It's just the way men are."
"I think the fallacy is to think that Women's Liberation meant that men and women would become interchangeable," she added. "That has not happened, and most men and women would not want it to happen."
Meanwhile, men remain essential to society, argue some experts. Men still apply for 90 percent of patents, for example. And they continue to earn more money during childbearing years and beyond. In one recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of working moms said they'd prefer a part-time schedule compared to 21 percent of dads. That is unlikely to change, Hymowitz said.
To re-equalize the playing field, Sommers argued, elementary schools need to bring back recess and allow boys to read book about heroes again. Colleges need to stop telling young men that women are, by default, afraid of them and their harassing ways. And academic programs that focus on girl power need to be rivaled by programs for boys.