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The State of American Boyhood


"The existence of a "boy crisis" in the United States is a topic of educational policy debate. While the problems of girls in schools have been addressed for many years, should boys now become the forcus of educational reform? To clarify this issue, this study reviews national statistics on the well-being of American boys and young men, examining not only the usual school indicators but also such issues as mental health, premature deaths, juvenile delinquency and arrest rates. Boys are in trouble in many areas: low rates of literacy, low grades and engagement in school, high dropout rates, placement in special education, especially in the more subjective areas of emotional disturbance and learning disabilities, more suspension and expulsions form school, and lower rates of postsecondary entrance and completion. Boys also suffer from dramatically higher suicide rates, conduct disorders, premature death, and rates of arrest and juvenile delinquency. Girls, however, are far more apt to suffer from depression and eating disorders., lower scores on mathematics and science tests, and are less likely to achieve at the very highest levels. This study argues that both boys and girls suffer from characteristic problems, but the issues affecting boys are serious and neglected."