May 27, 2011

Only If You Care about Our Boys

If you care about boys of any age, you have to take a look at the Boys Project website. Among other topics, it clearly paints the picture of a "boy crisis" in which boys are being brutalized by an educational system simply not suited to who they are . . . young males! The Boys Project offers us a powerful a statement of this tragic epidemic presented in statistics such as:
  • For every 100 girls suspended from public elementary and secondary schools 250 boys are suspended.
  • For every 100 girls expelled from public elementary and secondary schools 335 boys are expelled.
  • For every 100 girls diagnosed with a learning disability 276 boys are diagnosed with a learning disability.
  • For every 100 girls diagnosed with emotional disturbance 324 boys are diagnosed with emotional disturbance.
  • For every 100 tenth grade girls who play video or computer games one or more hours per day 322 boys play video or computer games one or more hours per day.
  • For every 100 women enrolled in college there are 77 men enrolled.
  • For every 100 American women who earn a bachelor's degree from college 73 American men earn a bachelor's degree.
  • For every 100 American women who earn a master's degree from college 62 American men earn the same degree.
The data go on to describe other mental health, disability, and incarceration numbers for boys that are also unsettling. Try these on:
  • For every 100 females ages 15 to 19 that commit suicide 549 males in the same range kill themselves.
  • For every 100 girls with multiple disabilities 189 boys have multiple disabilities.
  • For every 100 girls ages 15 to 17 in correctional facilities there are 837 boys behind bars.
Tom Mortenson, the man responsible for this collection of data, is a Higher Education Policy Analyst at The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. He first drew public attention to the gender gap in post-secondary education and was the first to point out the need for a Boys Project.

The goals of the Boys Project are:

1. Showcase colleges, schools, teachers, and organizations that have succeeded in engaging young men, increasing their academic success, and developing drive and ambition.

2. Educate families, educators and the public about the challenges our young boys are facing.

3. Develop federal, state, and foundation initiatives that support relevant research and necessary legislative change.

We all want to live in a world that gives all of our children the best possible chance to express their giftedness, regardless of gender. But it's is critical that there are organizations like the Boys Project whose purpose is to help boys become successful men. I'm happy to support this initiative, and if you care about what's happening to our boys check out the Boys Project website.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post, Earl. We live in a time when it's difficult to take a stand for men and boys without seeming ridiculous or coming across as a victim. This data makes it much easier for us, who are committed to helping men of all ages to be the best men they can be, to state our case.


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