"In the United States and other Western countries alike, it is mostly boys who are faltering in school," wrote columnist Nicholas Kristof. Though boys still beat out girls at the very top of the curve, especially in math, American girls on average have roughly achieved parity with boys in math and are well ahead of boys in verbal skills, he wrote. A new report by the Center on Education Policy also found that boys have fallen behind in reading in every state. Theories for why boys are being left behind include that they are hardwired so that they learn more slowly and that there is an increased emphasis in schools on verbal skills, often taught in sedate ways that bore boys. One strategy for helping boys catch up is to encourage them to read adventure or even gross-out books. "The more books make parents flinch," Kristof wrote, "the more they seem to suck boys in."