Six Reasons to NOT Send Your Son to College

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Sure, college isn’t for everyone. And as a woman who quit grad school to stay home and have more kids, I completely understand that some women would want to opt out. But, when I read this post, 6 Reasons to NOT Send Your Daughter to College, well, there’s simply not time to go into all of the logical fallacies at play there. (And just to be clear, although the author of the post is Catholic, the ideas presented are in no way the official teaching of the Catholic Church!)

If you’re wondering what I think about higher education for women (even women who decide to be SAHMs), I recommend this wonderful article from Verily Magazine. The good news is that there are many different ways God uses women to display his glory, and as you can see from the wonderful female saints, women don’t have to fit into a narrow box to live out their Catholicism faithfully.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy Daniel’s response!


This is a response to that silly article. And I’m joking. So don’t get mad.

Update: This is a satire. That should be clear, but from the comments, apparently it’s not clear enough.

1. Men have gifts unsuited to the academic life. It’s no secret that men are physically stronger than women. So doesn’t it make sense that men ought to be working as farmers and craftsmen instead of sitting at desks all day? Then why would you send your son to some fancy pants ivory tower where they won’t learn anything truly useful? You don’t need Professor Milquetoast to teach your sons to lift heavy objects. Instead, send your DAUGHTERS to college where they can use their delicate fingers to take notes while shielding their fair skin from the harsh sun.

2. He will be in a near occasion for sin. Quoting the original article, “How can one expect that anyone would be able to avoid these temptations?” I know, right?! Temptation is everywhere. How could your son NOT give into sin? I guess you could spend 18 years trying to model goodness and character for your son. You could teach him to discern right and wrong. You could instill virtue in him so that he’s able to choose the right thing even when he’s confronted with temptation. But that sounds like A LOT of work. I’m getting tired just thinking about it. Maybe keep him away from school instead.

3. He won’t use his education in his career. I spent years studying the early Church fathers, reading old books, learning dead languages, and writing mediocre papers. Now I work for a software company. No one has EVER asked me to translate a word of Greek or Hebrew. My boss isn’t interested in my opinions on Rousseau. And not one single person has asked to read my thesis on Calvinism in Moby Dick. Once I quoted Kafka on a conference call and that went over very poorly. Talk about a let down. What was the point of college if I can’t use what I learned to make money?

4. He will meet the wrong type of woman. When I was in college, not only did the girls wear pants, they also wore tights they pretended were pants. I mean. I just can’t.

5. He will not learn to be a husband and father. I get the feeling most college students are studying silly things like political science, information technology, and, worst of all, BUSINESS. How is that going to help any man live out his vocation? Maybe you could send your son to a good school and convince him to study philosophy, religion, and literature. And maybe he’ll learn about reason, faith, virtue, and the good life. And maybe that knowledge will help him be a good Catholic man who leads his family with love and engages the world with wisdom and compassion. But that’s a lot of maybes. Why risk it?

6. He will probably end up playing ultimate frisbee on “the quad.” And that’s just a silly way to spend one’s time.

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  1. says

    Love this, especially #2. My boys will not be allowed to leave the house without my permission for the rest of their lives. When they get married I plan to have them still live with us so I can make sure they still act virtuously and avoid all temptation. I mean, what would kids do if allowed to head alone into the outside world at the young age of 18? Shenanigans I tell you, that’s what. And frisbee?! Well, that’s just too much for this mother’s heart to take.

  2. Mary says

    As a catholic woman who attended a state university and majored in engineering I find this article very offense and lacking any sort of truth. Those temptations don’t just cease after college.

  3. says

    God love you guys. I couldn’t even read every word of the original article.

    Oh and I went to a school that is full of daughters and no sons. I guess it should just shut down!

  4. Grace says

    Love it! So glad you (or rather your hubby) addressed it on your blog! That was one of the things that stuck out to me too is that half of these reasons applied towards sons too, not just daughters. I would find the original article more hilarious if I didn’t feel so bad for their daughters. I have an aunt and uncle who have 7 boys and 2 girls and their family believe in this thinking too as they are ultra-conservative Christians, not Catholics. I love them and my cousins but there is such a clear double-standard in their family that I feel sorry for their girls. I hope their girls do find sweet, wonderful men who can support them and will never get hurt, but I hope they plan for the worst also because we don’t live in La-La Land.

  5. says

    These are excellent points. My boys aren’t old enough for college yet, but I think I’ll be proactive and send them to work in the mines now. Think of all the character they’ll build.

    And probably no tights pretending to be pants down there. And even if there are, they’d be really hard to see in the dark.

  6. Anne says

    Forget that he might be IN a near occasion for sin….what about the fact that your son might BE a near occasion for sin!! I mean, despite what the other blogger wrote, there are still going to be some girls that stubbornly insist on going to college. Can you imagine what will happen when they lay eyes on your drop-dead handsome son? How dare he show himself in public to unsuspecting Catholic girls??

  7. says

    Ugh! I’m not even a fan of the “every kid should go to college” mindset and our kids may or may not end up on the college track, but the original article bugs me on so many levels, not the least of which is that my husband being a stay-at-home dad while I work makes him a lazy man…wouldn’t that imply that all stay-at-home moms are lazy women?!

    Great response, Daniel!

  8. Beth F. says

    This is beyond awesome!!!! I love it! The other article/blog about freaked me out! This was the best response imaginable! 🙂 Thanks to Daniel for penning it! Totally enjoyed it! Haley & Daniel, keep up the great work!


  9. Erica says

    Thank you for writing this. As a working mother of one with a degree in Economics I was very offended by the other article. My education gave me many skills to guide my son to the workforce (and college if he chooses someday).

  10. says

    Oh my goodness, THANK YOU! That article had me fuming when I first saw it, and I, too, could not even contemplate where to begin with the arguments against the thought process.

  11. Natalie says

    So funny!! I just could not get on board with that other article at all… It’s as though they were assuming that “send your daughter to college” means “send her to a super expensive university out of town/state to pursue a career-oriented degree”, which is just one option of many as far as a college education goes. What about community college? What about going to a nearby university while living at home? What about studying what you LOVE, whether or not you plan to make a career out of it? What about the higher level of thinking and expanded subject matter one is usually exposed to in college, which makes him or a her into a more educated citizen with critical thinking skills (which I honestly think you’d be hard pressed to accomplish JUST by reading books, as the original article seems to suggest as an option)? I got my degree in music; I studied lots of other subjects that I was never exposed to before; I got to study abroad, which had a huge impact on how I think about the world and life; and I now use my education in a MINISTRY position, but not as a career (still a stay-at-home mom). No, it wasn’t ALL a good experience, but I’m glad I did it.

  12. says

    Readin’, writin’ and all that namby-pamby thinkn’ just gets in way of a real man anyways. Real men need skills in stick throwin’, gruntin’ and bear rastlin’, none of which is offered in any of them there college educations.


  13. Kathy says

    Thank you for your commentary and Daniel’s! What a refreshing, cool glass of water this was, compared to the crap propogated by the original writer of why not to send female children to college. I make my living as a writer, documenting the proper way of utilizing software that makes our national food supply safer. But of course, I apparently could have learned this WITHOUT my college education … ridiculous!

  14. says

    This is THE BEST.

    That other article… my worrrrrd. “How can one expect that anyone would be able to avoid these temptations?” Are they serious?! o_O I come from a conservative church that strongly emphasizes the complementary differences of men and women– like, we’re really into the role of wife and mom around here– and whoever wrote that article would STILL be laughed out of the sanctuary. Like you said, there’s not even time to unpack the fallacies.

  15. Mikayla says

    Don’t forget that having to pay off those huge student loans will mean he’ll waste time prior to being able to enter the seminary/religious orders.

  16. says

    Ok, ok, I definitely agree that there were some major issues with the (lack of) reasoning in the original article. But I do have to say, I think the benefits/”necessity” of a college education are grossly exaggerated in our culture, and few people stop to think if it’s really worth what they’re going to end up paying (especially once you figure in the interest on all those loans). So while I disagree with the point of the original article (i.e. girls should never go to college) I think the benefit of the article is to make one stop and think: What are the problems with college? What are the benefits? How is it actually preparing one for life? Is an education only justifiable if it contributes to one’s income potential? Are there other ways to achieve “an education”, other than a four-year college?

    These are good questions to ask, and I really believe far too few people consider them before throwing thousands of dollars into a college degree.

  17. says

    Well, as a woman who got her college degree and whose husband has decided to leave, I can say I was offended by the first article. I feel very accomplished doing what I love (which by the way, meant that I WAS educated about sewing, home safety, and family financial management). My husband, before we married, told me that I would have to force him to divorce me if I ever wanted to do so, because he would never do so without a fight. Now HE’S the one divorcing me. And somehow, I was supposed to pick a better man for marriage…life happens, people. I do not excuse what he’s done, but there was no way I could’ve known that someone I thought to be the most honorable, integrious man of God would do what he is now doing. Secondly, I thank the Lord every day that I got my degree because now I am having to provide for my daughter and myself. Wow…Anyway, good satire. Per your advice, I will never EVER be sending my childen to college. ; )

  18. says

    Brilliant! Made me think of this:
    In 1915, writer Alice Duer Miller wrote,

    Why We Don’t Want Men to Vote

    Because man’s place is in the army.
    Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
    Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
    Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
    Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.

  19. says

    Beautiful! There are so many things that education gives us aside from a degree. I have a chemistry degree, but I tutored low-income kids in a daycare on the west side while I was there. And that taught me so much about being a mother!

    Daniel, you made some excellent (irrefutable, in my mind) points. I had to skip over paragraphs in the other post, too.

    And the Verily article is one of the best I’ve read… ever.

  20. Reneé says

    This is HILARIOUS. I especially love #4: “… they also wore tights they pretended were pants.” But seriously – I just can’t, either.

  21. says

    Like you, I’m a skeptic unless arguments are logically sound, too. It’s interesting to me that the author of the original article makes the point about his arguments with naysayers devolving into complaints because of a perceived lack of logical arguments against his case, when in reality, I find his thinking full of fallacies, too. I think the points you make here only serve to highlight the lack of logic in the article, when they’re applied to men…though I’m sure it came from a place of charity and good intent, it’s so frustrating that this particular Catholic ministry is having the viral effect of misleading a lot of people about the Church and about masculinity and femininity. Props to you, Haley!

  22. says

    I think everyone may also appreciate a bonus two reasons on this list, much like the Reasons “#6 and #8” (according to the editor’s note) were added to the original post “just in case 6 weren’t enough.”

    Also, I would hope that a woman, regardless of whether or not she attended college, would know that numerically, a six is not followed by another six. And that when writing, any single digit number should be spelled out as a word, not written as a number. Perhaps introductory Math and Grammar courses should be revisited?

  23. Catholic Mutt says

    Haha! I love this! I read the original article a few days ago, and it sounded just as ridiculous as this one. Except that the original was written in all seriousness.

  24. says

    I LOVED the article from Verily Magazine. It is so much more articulate and thought-provoking than this 6 Reasons nonsense. I also want to point out that Blessed John Paul II was supportive of the role of women in the workforce (or public vocation), making the argument that women possess a particular “genius” and the feminine perspective in leadership roles will be vital in transformation of culture. “Women will increasingly play a part in the solution of the serious problems of the future.” (From the Letterof Pope John Paul to Women) That’s the new feminism!

  25. says

    SO wonderful. That horrid article has been pricking at my pride and psyche for over a week, THANK YOU both for answering it with so much more grace and humor than I ever could.

  26. says

    i am so thankful for this!! i live with a “surrogate” family (if you will), in which the father doesn’t believe women need to attend college. he didn’t right the original article you posted, but he may as well have. some of their friends believe women should not attend college. i vehemently do not believe either. at all! and as a twenty-something who has been struggling for years to put herself through school (and is not yet halfway), it is a very discouraging place to be. Daniel’s response reminded me that it is not sinful to attend college and gain an education in a humorous way that breaks the tension. so thanks!!

  27. says

    Bless you for this. My teen had a very strong reaction to the “girls” article when it was shared on FB, and while we had some discussions about it, this is a terrific response!

  28. says

    “When I was in college, not only did the girls wear pants, they also wore tights they pretended were pants. I mean. I just can’t.”

    I died!

  29. says

    Ahh! Been reading thru some if the archives. Laughed so hard at this. I’m thinking maybe a post in 6 Reasons Your Husband Shouldn’t Go To Work could be another funny response. I mean, these men are going to be in near occasion to sin simply by being out of the watchful gaze of their wives, probably working with other women…sure he made vows with you, but how can anyone expect a man who has eyeballs to resist temptation when his wife is not in sight?


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