Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cathy Young had an article yesterday in the Boston Globe on "The Lost Boys" as well as a post on the same topic at her blog. Many people tell me that this boy topic is getting "beaten to death" but at least it's getting some attention which might lead to further research and study into the area of boy's and men's high rates of suicide, etc.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I'd like to say "thanks" for all the attention you've been bringing to this subject.

As the mother of a 13 year-old boy, I've been following this issue with a lot of interest. My son has had more "behavior issues" than my daughter, but he has been lucky enough to have teachers, especially in the early grades, who were able to channel his energy productively. As a result, he enjoys school and is very high-achieving.

Most of his teachers, unsurprisingly, have been women, but I have seen him really thrive with male teachers. I think that the effort to "feminize" boys' classroom behavior results from education being an overwhelmingly female profession, especially in elementary schools. I wonder how many kids get to middle school or even high school before they have a male teacher. The elementary school where I work has only one man on regular teaching staff.

So maybe in addition to working with educators to make classrooms more hospitable for boys, we ought to also work on making the teaching profession more attractive to men. And that probably starts with paying teachers more.

8:39 AM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I have to suggest that the people who say this subject is getting "beaten to death" are part of the problem. "Gosh, boys are killing themselves at a ridiculously high rate. OK, lets talk about something else."

As many have already said, if this was girls killing themselves at this rate, reactions would be very different, probably Congressional hearings.

9:30 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here’s just one example of the anti-male bias in education. From a Feb. 4 Newsday article entitled: “LIers remember Betty Friedan”


“Riza Laudin, president of the Long Beach chapter of the League of Women Voters and a teacher at Herricks High School, said she was so influenced by Betty Friedan that she has used the writer's books as teaching tools.

"I used her book in my history class ... because I believe she has done tremendous good and her ideas and actions were key to the movement of women through the years. Her book, 'The Feminine Mystique,' was the first to allow women to realize that there is more out there and brought the issue of feminism to the forefront."

So a bunch of teenage boys in this idiot’s class are forced to suffer through feminist indoctrination. They are supposed to study this radical feminist (and committed Socialist) and, I assume, write reports extolling the wonders they have learned. Do you thank that, just maybe, after having to sit through this crap, the boys might not exactly enjoy their education?

10:39 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, the issue has not been done to death.
I worry about boys. They are the targets of subtle and not so subtle messages that they are simply no good. Remember the t-shirts with Boys are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them? Try changing boys to girls and see if people would accept it.

11:04 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen, you wrote, "Did you know that 86% of all adolescent suicides in the U.S.are comitted by boys? And the real problem? Nobody gives a damn."

The "nobody gives a damn" has been the problem for as long as I can remember for kids in trouble.

If they don't have strong parents, somtimes super strong parents, or a tough but caring grouchy uncle Charlie with a farm in Oklahoma you can send them to, these kids are really in trouble.

My Brother was single and in the oil & gas business in Wyoming. He finished raising our nephew thru high school who was on the run from the law in Illinois.

Matt was lucky he had his "Uncle Kirk". Matt made it, but just barely.

Most of the "lost boys" need an "Uncle Kirk" but damn few have them.

When family isn't there to care, these kids are looked on as a "problem to be managed". They are the high voltage personalities caught somewhere between getting a real life that always seems just out of reach, or permanently wharehoused in prison.

In a couple of weeks my son & I are going to visit one of his boyhood friends ... in San Quentin Penitentary, he gets visitors once a month. Jesse has been in trouble since kindergarten. The high end suburbs never fit for him. He needed a grouchy (but loving) uncle Charlie, he didn't have one.

No one gives a damn, these kids are alone, completely alone and they know it.

11:05 AM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger Jeff Faria said...

Yes, boys should just grow up and become men and stop crying about it: That's the backlash I have seen out there. If the issue were with women, would it be called "done to death"?

I didn't think so, either.

11:10 AM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

Cathy Young wrote: "Many feminists have dismissed the college attendance gap as insignificant, arguing that men can get well-paying jobs even without college while women need a degree just to catch up. Yet the fact is that in this knowledge-based economy, men without a higher education are increasingly falling behind."

In my view, Ms. Young's statement encapsulates the most irritating and important aspects of this issue. It's important because college is vital in today's world. Virtually all young Americans have the opportunity to attend college. We should be concerned when qualified men decide to forego college.

It's irritating to read articles or comments stating that boys don't need to go to college because they can get good jobs anyway. The fact that sometimes men can be productive wage-earners without attending college is irrelevant. Sometimes people who barely made it out of grade school or middle school can succeed, too, but the odds are low that they will do so. To face life with only a high school education is hard and getting harder.

To suggest that men just don't want to go to college reminds me of years ago, when girls were told that they didn't need to worry their pretty little heads about math or college or careers. Back then, it was commonplace to hear that perhaps women wanted to stay home as wives and mothers, and that maybe they didn't want to go to college or have careers. Forty years later, we know that women do want college and careers ... and so do men.

11:10 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, anyone who says this is being “beaten to death” really just reveals their own lack of concern for the issue.

I don’t think there is any one solution, but parents need to be involved and ask questions. A couple of weeks ago I emailed our children’s principal (k thru 4) and asked if the school tracks scores by gender, if there was a difference between the genders, and what was being done.

She had a nice response which I won’t go into here for brevity. She did say that last spring’s tests to third graders showed girls doing better, but the two years before that boys did better in both reading and math. Interestingly, and related to a prior poster's comments, 8 out the 19 teachers at my children's school are men.

Getting involved probably doesn’t make much difference in the really lousy schools since they have bigger problems than gender differences and they don’t address well anyway, but for others I do think it matter.

11:28 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've been deluged with feminist claptrap for 30 years; now, after about a month of concern over boys, we're told the subject has been beaten to death?

The feminist movement has done great damage to women, and now we are finally seeing some of the damage it has done to men. This is all explainable by recognizing that the feminist movement had little or nothing to do with women (or men) it was simply a political movement designed to entice women into supporting liberal causes. It never had any real regard for women or for the consequences of the policies espoused by the movement.

11:42 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a subtle reason why masculinity is under attack. Remember the old liberty versus security conflict - women tend to lean toward security, men toward liberty. Thus, the statists and collectivists who run our educational system have a vested interest in feminizing society - a feminized society is more willing to trade liberty for security, this increasing the power of statists and collectivists.

11:48 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I almost certainly would have been one of those "Lost Boys" if I were going through school today. I was lucky, though. In second grade, just as my behavior was becoming a problem, I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs Keistler.

She realized that a major part of my problem was boredom. I was finishing my work too quickly and sitting around finding ways (like shooting rubber bands at those still working) to get into trouble. There was one other boy in the same boat, George.

She figured out that we could each be used to control the other. There was a chess board in the back of the classroom and we were allowed to use it once we had turned in our work. We both knew how to play (very poorly), and we also knew that silence was a cardinal rule of chess.

So, we got to channel our extra energy into a "war" game, but one that was silent by definition. We squirmed around in our seats, joyfully capturing each other's pieces and gesticulating wildly, but we didn't disturb the front of the class.

That Mrs Keistler, she was a genius. I assume she left notes in my file. Future teachers often seemed to have solutions like this set up preemptively, before I even got into trouble.

These days, of course, George and I would be zonked out on some drug, not interested in chess or school or anything much.

11:50 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My cousin just got back from 18 months in Kosovo with his Army Reserve unit. He and his wife teach at the same middle school. Besides the janitor, he is the only male employee in the school. Discipline problems went up after he left. Before he left he got all the difficult discipline problems and was able to keep most of the more difficult boys in line. His motto: "You can always get nicer." He starts the year as a "hard as nails", drill instructor type and has the experience to back it up. Then he lets up on the tough guy routine every time class performance goes up. He is a young man but has already had more than one boy tell him that by setting down the rules (and obeying them himself) he got them to turn their life around. He has never hit a boy, but they know that "the Lieutenant" (now Major) has the physical strength to back up the tough talk. Maybe a little outreach to our returning veterans to get them in the classroom can help some of these boys who need to see the strength and accomplishments that come with self discipline. I wonder if cultural bias against the military has anything to do with the decline in boy’s school performance? Could part of this problem be an offshoot of the whole "military recruiters off campus" sort of activism?

11:59 AM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who doubt how hostile schools have become towards boys


It has finally come too far.

2:49 PM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lastango has an interesting and revealing point: That the feminization of schools has not just penalized boys, it has driven away good male teachers (as opposed, I suppose, to feminized males), making the system even worse for boys than it would otherwise have been.

I know that when I thought about going back to school a few years ago, I considered being a teacher. But teaching schools seemed to be emphasizing attitude and touchy-feely fluff that not only did not interest me, it repulsed me. I'm now working as a system administrator.

12:11 AM, February 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riza Laudin is fat, ugly, and is the worst teacher in the world

3:24 PM, February 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:29 PM, June 07, 2009  

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