Thursday, January 6, 2011

Boys Adrift?

Tim Challies, summarizing, the Leonard Sax book, Boys Adrift. I haven't read the book, but I can only say that this rings so incredibly true, it's hardly worth debating.
"Schools, he says, have begun to focus on academics at too early an age, leaving boys hating education from their earliest days. Programs that focus more on fun and less on academics up to age seven or eight would reap educational dividends. Important also is the distinction between learning as merely collecting facts and learning as experience. Regarding video games he believes that boys today are dedicating far too much time to this form of entertainment. As boys play these games they gain false perceptions of power and inadvertently remove themselves from reality until eventually they prefer the world of video games over the real world. ADHD is vastly over-diagnosed and huge numbers of boys are given medications they simply do not need. These medications have been proven to change the way boys develop and do far more than simply calm down hyperactive children. Endocrine disruptors, and especially artificial estrogens found in plastic bottles and other similar products, are delaying boys' development (while accelerating girls' development) and contributing to many associated problems. And finally, boys are suffering from a distinct lack of good and manly role models, both in their homes and in their communities."


  1. and here I am trying to raise a healthy boy!

    Is this book very widely read, do you know, Asa?

  2. The book was published in 2009 and at this point has run its course in the media. NPR picked up the book and it does seem to have inspired some discussion. A middle school in Syracuse is following Sax's lead and working to offer singl-sex education.

    I don't think Sax's idea is particularly unique and it seems like there has been discussion about a crisis of boyhood going on for several years now. The Atlantic ran a feature article called "The End of Men" this summer and Time also picked up the theme.