News Releases

Democratic Presidential Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand supports creation of a White House Council on Boys and Men—joins Candidate Andrew Yang, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, and conservative commentators in recognizing that there is a National Boy Crisis

Kirsten Gillibrand told Warren Farrell, the chairman of a multi-partisan coalition calling for a White House Council on Boys and Men, “I think we need a national commission because I think it’s real.” She was referring to the problem of how society fails our boys.

Gillibrand wants children to have more access to resources such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters: “So much, particularly for boys, is they need role models, they need mentors as girls do, but especially in those teen years. It is an issue that I will focus on as President of the United States to make sure all of our children thrive.” Full video interview here: https://youtu.be/ATvWgjMyy5Y

Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang said, the proposed Council’s emphasis on the education of boys deserves support:  “I have two young boys myself, For whatever reason, our culture is ignoring the fact that we have so many young men who feel like they’re getting pushed to the sidelines at schools.”

Yang elaborated that “schools that don’t really meet the needs of a lot of boys. We emphasize conformity and rigidity. A lot of boys aren’t really well-designed for that. And then they get on the workforce, and the workforce doesn’t have a place for them. Almost one out of five prime working-age American men is out of the workforce.” https://youtu.be/ATvWgjMyy5Y

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has sounded a similar alarm. Tying youth unemployment to the opioid crisis, he told CBS 60 Minutes: “The opioid crisis is millions of people. They tend to be young males. And it’s a very significant problem. And it’s part of a larger picture of low labor force participation, particularly by young males.”

https://youtu.be/VL1vEFoKK3Y?t=112

The Coalition for a White House Council on Boys and Men believes these issues cut across the political spectrum and deserve the bi-partisan attention it is receiving. Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson recently decried the high incidence of father absence: “More children are growing up without fathers at home. Nobody benefits from that at all.  Why aren’t we sounding an alarm in this society about that?”https://youtu.be/HbbO_LUxfi0

Tucker’s colleague, Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham, believes the boy crisis merits national attention. Known for her skepticism about expanding the reach of the federal government, Ingraham supports the creation of a White House Council on Boys and Men:  “I’m not usually one for promoting new commissions or studies, but in this case, I think it’s long overdue.” 

“Just on the issue of suicide,” Ingraham said, “When I saw these numbers—I have two sons—it shocks you. Ages 15 to 19 years boys have three times the suicide rate of girls. They have four and half times the suicide rate of girls between the ages of 20 and 24. That’s just one the issues we have,” Ingraham added. “We have drop-out rates that are higher and opioid use that is higher.” https://youtu.be/VL1vEFoKK3Y 

The Commissioners for a White House Council on Boys and Men are asking President Trump to create a council to respond to the public health crisis robbing boys and men of their mental and physical health and their economic viability.

Details of the proposal to create such a Council are available on the website: http://whitehouseboysmen.org/

News Media contact: Philip Cook, thewhitehousecouncil@gmail.com (202) 531-9322

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Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, and Laura Ingraham Agree: The Nation Is Suffering a Boy Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 29, 2019 — News Release from: The Coalition to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men. http://whitehouseboysmen.org/

 In a rare bridging of political divisions, Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, and Conservative TV Commentator Laura Ingraham all decried the public health crisis facing U.S. boys and men.

Yang spoke to Warren Farrell, the chairman of a multi-partisan coalition calling for a White House Council on Boys and Men. “I have two young boys myself,” Yang said. “For whatever reason, our culture is ignoring the fact that we have so many young men who feel like they’re getting pushed to the sidelines at schools.”

Yang elaborated that “schools that don’t really meet the needs of a lot of boys. We emphasize conformity and rigidity. A lot of boys aren’t really well-designed for that. And then they get on the workforce, and the workforce doesn’t have a place for them. Almost one out of five prime working-age American men is out of the workforce.” Watch the video interview here: https://youtu.be/fl_i67q50wQ

Fed Chair Powell sounded a similar alarm, tying youth unemployment to the opioid crisis, “The opioid crisis is millions of people. They tend to be young males. And it’s a very significant problem. And it’s part of a larger picture of low labor force participation, particularly by young males.”

Farrell, author of The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It, described his research that indicts dad deprivation as the prime cause of boys suffering a crisis in their social and emotional development. In response Yang lamented that “40% of kids are born to single parents today, and 90% of those cases are single moms. So if you’re a little boy growing up with a single mom, the mom’s generally working. You don’t have enough time, and then you don’t have strong male role models.”

At the other end of the political spectrum, Ingraham, known for her conservative views about big government, conceded, “I’m not usually one for promoting new commissions or studies, but in this case, I think it’s long overdue.”

“Just on the issue of suicide,” Ingraham said, “When I saw these numbers—I have two sons—it shocks you. Ages 15 to 19 years boys have three times the suicide rate of girls. They have four and half times the suicide rate of girls between the ages of 20 and 24.” “That’s just one the issues we have,” Ingraham added. “We have drop-out rates that are higher and opioid use that is higher.”

The Commissioners for a White House Council on Boys and Men are asking President Trump to create a council to respond to the public health crisis robbing boys and men of their mental and physical health and their economic viability.

Yang quotes retrieved from: https://youtu.be/fl_i67q50wQ

Powell quotes retrieved from: https://youtu.be/VL1vEFoKK3Y?t=112

Ingraham retrieved from: https://youtu.be/VL1vEFoKK3Y

http://whitehouseboysmen.org/

News Media contact: Philip Cook, thewhitehousecouncil@gmail.com

Keep the news flowing! Support our efforts by becoming a Patreon supporter and get daily news articles of interest. You can also click on the donate button on our website and make a tax-deductible contribution.

http://whitehouseboysmen.org/

There is a Boy Crisis in America and We Need to Recognize it and Act On It

For Immediate Release

May 8, 2019

Contact: Alexey Chandler

Phone: (718) 816-2198

Staten Island Borough President and Award-Winning Author Warren Farrell, Ph.D., will discuss the revelations in his new book, ‘The Boy Crisis’; Will Announce the Creation of a Borough Hall Council on Boys and Men; Call on the Federal Government to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men

STATEN ISLAND, NY –Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo will join with Dr. Warren Farrell, co-author of The Boy Crisis, to discuss the Boy Crisis in America and the need for a Borough Hall Council on Boys and Men. Staten Island will become the first government agency attending to the ways we can prevent the boy crisis, with the ultimate goal of creating a White House Council on Boys and Men. 

Dr. Farrell is a former board member of the National Organization for Women, and who in 2009 was invited by President Barack Obama to be a leading adviser of what was planned to be a White House Council on Girls and Women. According to Dr. Farrell, “the boy crisis resides where dads do not reside,” and that it was dad-deprived boys behind the vast majority of mass shootings, crimes, and ISIS recruits.

There are 70 different metrics which demonstrate the undeniable truth that a boy crisis exists in America:

  • Between the ages of 10 and 14, boys commit suicide at almost twice the rate as girls.
  • Between the ages of 15 and 19, boys commit suicide at four times the rate of girls.
  • Between the ages of 22 and 24, male suicide is five and six times that of females.
  • More black boys between the ages of 10 and 20 are killed by homicide than by the next nine leading causes of death combined.
  • While the rate of obesity amongst adolescent girls has stabilized, the rate for boys is increasing.
  • Young men have gone from 61 percent obtaining a college degree to a projected 39 percent.
  • Our sons are twice as likely as our daughters to be killed by accident.
  • We are less likely to read to our sons.
  • Women constitute 75 percent of those who seek professional help to prevent suicide; men constitute 75 percent of those who actually do commit suicide.
  • Worldwide, boys are 50 percent less likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math, and science.
  • A third of boys are raised in father-absent homes.
  • In 1920, American males lived on average only one year less than females; today it is five years less.

WHO: Borough President James S. Oddo, Dr. Warren Farrell, co-author of The Boy Crisis, and community stakeholders

WHAT: Announcement of Staten Island Council on Men and Boys and Call on the Federal Government to create a White House Council on Boys and Men

WHEN: Thursday, May 9th at 11:30am

WHERE: Staten Island Borough Hall, 10 Richmond Terrace, Room 125

###

To arrange an interview with Dr. Farrell, please contact Kevin McVicker at Shirley & Banister Public Affairs at (703) 739-5920 or kmcvicker@sbpublicaffairs.com.

National Newspaper Column Endorses The Creation of a White House Council For Boys and Men

In a USA Today column and video:

“Solutions to the boy crisis must be addressed simultaneously in the family, in schools and by policymakers. To name a few: Parents need communication training to prevent the divorces that breed the boy crisis. Schools need male teachers, vocational education and recess. Presidential candidates need to identify the boy crisis as a signature issue. And President Trump, with an executive order, can create a White House Council on Boys and Men to make the boy crisis a national priority, so millions of parents and sons do not feel isolated and ashamed — but supported to address a solution toward stronger families, more boy-friendly schools, and a more economically and psychologically secure America.” – Warren Farrell, PhD

Federal Reserve Chairman Remarks Deserve National Attention

In a rare interview, Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Jerome Powell, sounded an alarm about the crisis facing young men in the U.S. The solution to this crisis lies in the President’s creation of a White House Council For Boys and Men. In his 60 Minutes interview, Powell tied the crisis facing our young men to several factors. The proposed council could address these factors in a comprehensive and results-oriented fashion. From the transcript:

PELLEY: You mentioned the opioid crisis. It’s that big a problem in the labor force?

POWELL: Yes, it is. The opioid crisis is millions of people. They tend to be young males. And it’s a very significant problem. And it’s part of a larger picture of low labor force participation, particularly by young males. …

PELLEY: What is the biggest threat to American prosperity that no one is talking about?

POWELL: That no one is talking about? … I would point to our longer-run challenges. And I would like to see a stronger national focus on, for example, labor force participation. There are plenty of prime-aged people who are not in the labor force and who would be better off in the labor force. And I’d like to see us find policies that can support and reward work, provide training and education, and generally try to raise U.S. labor force participation so that we’re no longer at the bottom of the league table among advanced economies.

Fed Chair Powell has identified the crisis of young American males as one of the biggest threats to America’s economic future. 

Who and What: A multi-partisan Coalition of 35 nationally-known scholars and practitioners request that President Trump create a White House Council on Boys and Men.

Why: Our nation is suffering a crisis of boys and men. The Coalition identifies five components:

 Education: Nationwide, boys are 50 percent less likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math and science. Yet male teachers, and vocational education—both associated with better outcomes for boys—receive inadequate support.

Jobs: Cut-backs in vocational education leave boys who are not academically inclined unemployed. Japan’s vocational programs result in 99.6% employment. More than 90% of mass shooters, ISIS recruits, and male criminals were dad-deprived boys.

Fatherlessness: A third of boys are raised in father-absent homes; yet boys and girls with significant father involvement do better in more than 70 areas.

Physical health: In 1920, American males lived only one year less than females; today, five years less.  Yet we have no federal office to deal with the public health crisis of boys and men.

Emotional health: Between ages 13 and 20, the suicide rate is five times greater among boys than girls.

Each of the five crisis components is potentially handled by a different department of the government; therefore, the crisis is not prioritized and proposed remedies are nonexistent or inadequate, most importantly, no coordinated effort exists. Short-Term Investment/ Long-TermSavings: Financial benefits: about a trillion dollars per year.  Society benefits: dramatically reducing boys’ and men’s vulnerability to joining terrorist groups, committing mass shootings, and becoming criminals. Quality-of-Life Benefits: Priceless.

Contact:

Chair: Warren Farrell, PhD warren@warrenfarrell.com

Steering Committee Treasurer: Philip W.  Cook thewhitehousecouncil@gmail

Coalition to Create a White House Council for Boys and Men Gets National TV Exposure

Watch Coalition Leader Warren Farrell interview, and note that he explains succinctly how the President could quickly create the White House Council for Boys and Men: https://youtu.be/_Enlr4sCb6w

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Why Don’t We Value Spacial Intelligence?

From Jonathan Wai in Psychology Today:

Over 90 years ago, Lewis Terman attempted to identify the brightest kids in California.  There were two young boys who took Terman’s test but who did not make the cutoff to be included in this study for geniuses.  These boys were William Shockley and Luis Alvarez, who both went on to study physics, earn PhDs, and win the Nobel Prize.  Why did they miss the cut?  One explanation is that the Stanford-Binet, the test Terman used, simply did not include a spatial test.

The whole article is here.

Going to DadsHouse

From Karen Woodall in Huffington Post:

With absolutely no statutory help available for dads in this position, those who find themselves outside of the family unit are, without the help of family and friends, destined for a life of sofa surfing, hostels or other even less suitable places to live. I have heard of dads in this position living in garages and the garden shed. From here it is incredibly difficult for them to continue to maintain relationships with their children, for who would want their children to know that they are in that position? Housing for dads after separation is a critical issue and one which leads to despair for too many.

I was excited therefore, when I received news of a project in London which is specialising in helping dads in these circumstances. DadsHouse is a charity founded by Billy McGranaghan, himself once a lone parent who found it hard when he was alone and wanted to help other dads in his shoes. DadsHouse runs many projects but the most recent is particularly special because it helps dads who are homeless with temporary accommodation, which in turn gives them a chance to build relationships with their children.

Full article is here.

Is society telling boys something is wrong with them?

From “Boy Is Beautiful” in Psychology Today by Mark Sherman, Ph. D.

What was the picture? Was it a gun? A bomb? The scene of an explosion? No. It was an anatomically correct stick figure of a man. Yes, it was a man with a penis.

My son was very upset – not with my grandson, but with the school, for forcing my son to leave work in the middle of the day to pick up my grandson for what my son felt was an absurd reason. And my daughter-in-law also thought it was ridiculous, as did my wife, and my son’s in-laws, who are far more conservative than we are.

I think my son handled it beautifully. My grandson was upset to be sent home, and felt like there was something wrong with him.  And that is how kids feel; you have to be pretty grown up to feel that maybe it’s not you; that perhaps there is something wrong with “the system.”

The whole article is here.

‘Equal pay day’ this year is April 12; the next ‘equal occupational fatality day’ will be in the year 2027

Gender gap job deathsOn the gender gap in occupational fatalities by Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute:

Every year the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) publicizes its “Equal Pay Day” to bring public attention to the gender pay gap. According to the NCPE, “Equal Pay Day” will fall this year on April 12, and allegedly represents how far into 2017 the average woman will have to continue working to earn the same income that the average man will earn this year. Inspired by Equal Pay Day, I introduced “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” in 2010 to bring public attention to the huge gender disparity in work-related deaths every year in the United States. “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” tells us how many years into the future women will be able to continue to work before they would experience the same number of occupational fatalities that occurred for men in the previous year….

Based on the BLS data for 2014, the next “Equal Occupational Fatality Day” will occur about 11 years from now ­­– on January 12, 2027. That date symbolizes how far into the future women will be able to continue working before they experience the same loss of life that men experienced in 2014 from work-related deaths. Because women tend to work in safer occupations than men on average, they have the advantage of being able to work for more than a decade longer than men before they experience the same number of male occupational fatalities in a single year.

The full article is here.

Fatherhood program for inmates loses funding

It was not one of the five fatherhood programs supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services. As reported by John Hult:

The Sioux Falls-based non-profit had applied for a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to continue the program earlier this year, but it was not among the five fatherhood programs nationwide selected, according to Rebecca Kiesow-Knudson of LSS.

The new grant would have offered $1.3 million to $1.5 million per year for five years. LSS was informed that its application “scored very high,” Kiesow-Knudson said, but that there wasn’t enough to pay for all the programs that needed funding.

Fatherhood and Families offered training on family re-integration for inmates within six months of release from prison, and was available at five adult DOC facilities. The voluntary program was open to anyone without a domestic violence or stalking record who would return to a family role upon release.

Whole story here.

The “Mystery Measure” That Lifts Children

The “Mystery Measure” That Lifts Children by Dr. Ned Holstein (This article first appeared in the commission newsletter, The Proposal.)
Despite the 50-year War on Poverty, the social safety net, and the War on Drugs, poverty and social dysfunction of various sorts appear undented.
Remarkably, there exists a simple “mystery measure” that could be implemented tomorrow, costs society nothing, improves the educational outcomes of children; decreases the number of children suffering from anxiety, depression, hyperactivity and attention deficit; decreases teen violence, gang involvement, and arrests; decreases teen pregnancy; increases child support payments; decreases childhood substance abuse; and improves the physical health of children.
Yet this “mystery measure” is barely on society’s radar screen.
To grasp the opportunity before us, we need to reassess the biases that may blind us to real opportunities. After all, if 50 years of sowing the same thing does not seem to be bearing sufficient fruit, perhaps it is time to reexamine our approach.
The “mystery measure” requires us to reassess our view of the family— in particular, how we value fathers and fathering. We have long acted as if fatherlessness is of little consequence to children so long as single mothers are adequately supported financially, either by child support payments or by the social safety net.
The evidence, however, supports the idea that we must explore means of restoring fathering to children, especially by reforming family court traditions that overwhelmingly favor the award of sole custody to one parent, usually the mother. Instead, courts should award shared parenting if both parents are fit and there has been an absence of significant domestic violence. Shared parenting is the “mystery measure” that will help all our children, both boys and girls, at no cost to society.
Despite enormous expenditures to support single-parent families, The Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Justice, the Census Bureau and numerous researchers have reported alarming outcomes for the 35% of children raised by single parents.

Despite the often-heroic efforts of these parents, their children account for:

  • 63% of teen suicides
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions
  • 71% of high school drop-outs
  • 75% of children in chemical abuse centers
  • 85% of those in prison
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children

Three recent comprehensive reviews, based on 30 years of research, support shared parenting as the best arrangement for children after separation or divorce.

Dr. Richard Warshak at the University of Texas authored one of the review papers and concluded, “…shared parenting should be the norm for parenting plans for children of all ages, including very young children.” 110 experts around the world signed on to his conclusions.
The 2014 consensus statement of the First International Conference on Shared Parenting in Bonn, Germany reads, “There is a consensus that shared parenting is a viable post-divorce parenting arrangement that is optimal to child development and well-being, including for children of high conflict parents.”
And 32 experts with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts concluded in 2014, “Children’s best interests are furthered by parenting plans that provide for continuing and shared parenting relationships that are safe, secure, and developmentally responsive…”
Many great ideas are simple. Shared parenting is a simple idea that will help boys and girls enormously.  It’s time has come, if only we can get past archaic gender stereotypes that place children exclusively with mothers after separation or divorce.
Ned Holstein, MD, MS Founder and Acting Executive Director National Parents Organization(https://nationalparentsorganization.org)
 
Dr. Holstein received his undergraduate degree from Harvard, a graduate degree in Psychology from M.I.T., and his M.D. degree from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, where he holds a voluntary appointment as clinical Assistant Professor. He is a recognized national authority in his field of medicine. He founded National Parents Organization in 1996. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Council on Shared Parenting. He is a Commissioner of the Coalition to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men. He is the father of three and the grandfather of four.

To subscribe to the commission newsletter, please email WHC@whitehouseboysmen.com

The Gender Role & The Gender Brain in Education

The Gender Role & The Gender Brain in Education by Sean Kullman (This article first appeared in the commission newsletter, The Proposal.)
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) does important work on civil rights, and the single-sex school debate continues to be an important social issue for them.  More often, the ACLU believes single sex schools encourage gender stereotypes that only alienate girls and boys and lead to discrimination and a violation of Title IX. The ACLU has filed lawsuits against districts to prevent single-sex school options.  “The adoption of single-sex education programs based on sex stereotypes has become widespread across the state of Florida, and should not be permitted to continue,’ said Galen Sherwin, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project.’” Referring to some of the gender science as “junk science,” the ACLU sees the single-sex classroom as a potentially discriminatory place.

Other nations have run public single-sex schools for decades, while single-sex public education in the United States is a recent phenomenon.  New Zealand provides co-educational as well as single-sex options for low and medium income families unable to afford private single-sex schools.  New Zealand’s system may provide some of the pros and cons of co-educational and single-sex education because of the sheer number of students and accessibility to data.

Experts cite that boys are struggling in our modern educational institutions and attending and graduating college at significantly lower rates.  (Today 57% of college attendees are women and 43% are male).  Other experts worry girls are not getting into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at comparable rates as boys. Federal data supports these concerns in math, technology, and engineering.

Dr. Joseph Cox, former Director of the International Boys School Coalition and father of a daughter who is an engineer, argues that “women who are the product of single-sex education are significantly more likely to study math and science, and in all-boys schools, young men tend to be less self-conscious about studying music, art or acting, and they are more open to sharing their feelings.”

Parents and educators are looking for solutions and new approaches. Gender and learning has its promoters and detractors, but the research around single-sex education has gathered promising data for new ways to educate, helping boys and girls succeed.  The ACLU worries this data could be misused and lead to discriminatory practices.

Sean Kullman is an educator and writer. He sits on the steering committee for the Coalition for a White House Council on Boys and Men

To subscribe to the commission newsletter, email WHC@whitehouseboysmen.org.

The Primacy of Moderate Self-esteem

The Primacy of Moderate Self-esteem by Marty Nemko (This article first appeared in the commission newsletter, The Proposal)
Careers Tips for Boys’ Parents: Toward Moderate Self-Esteem

Part one of a four-part series that helps parents help set the stage for their boys’ career success. Some advice applies to girls.

    If a boy’s self-esteem is too low, he can’t envision a significant career goal let alone be motivated to do the work to achieve it. On the other hand, too-high self-esteem risks complacency or the unrealistic belief he could do anything—Not everyone has a realistic shot of becoming a doctor, lawyer, or astronaut. Self-esteem should be just high enough to engender the sense that, with effort, there’s a range of rewarding careers in which he could succeed.
Alas, it’s harder than in previous generations for boys to acquire even moderate self-esteem. When I started out as a career counselor 30 years ago, my male and female clients were equally confident in themselves. Today, my female clients are, on average, more confident.
That’s understandable. Disproportionately, today’s boys get messages that female is good, male is bad. For example, I just googled the terms “Girls Rock” and “Boys Rock.” There are 300% as many listings for “Girls Rock.” There even are books and posters that explicitly encourage girls to be violent against boys. For example, most books go out of print in a couple years but the book and poster, published by Workman, a major publisher, “Boys are Stupid. Throw Rocks at Them!” remains in print a decade after publication!  Even if the book were an attempt at humor, if it were “Girls are Stupid Throw Rocks at Them!,” a publisher would not even have agreed to publish it and if it did, groups would immediately demand it be pulled from the shelves.
Of course, books, posters, and tee-shirts in themselves won’t destroy a boy’s self-esteem. What increases the risk is a boy who is already vulnerable and then experiences a daily retinue of negative imagery and few male role models. Many boys already think they’re inferior. That mindset is unlikely to open them to a reasonable range of career opportunities. So parents might want to do one or more of the following:
Identify and frequently remind him of his strengths. Is he bold yet fair and only takes reasonable risks? Is he usually kind? Able to fix things?  Does he write well?  Stay alert for his latent as well as apparent strengths and point them out to your boy. Do it often.
Conversely, praising trivial accomplishments and excessively tolerating bad behavior leads to the aforementioned too-high self-esteem. Limit praise to legitimately praise-worthy behavior. Of course, do set limits and issue criticisms as appropriate, although corporal punishment  is a no-no. That teaches that an acceptable response to bad behavior is violence.
Keep on the lookout for boy-friendly teachers at your son’s school. Perhaps visit classrooms and ask parents of boys at your child’s school. 87 percent of elementary school teachers are women, among the highest percentage in the world, so you may not have a high-quality male teacher to vie for.
But female teachers vary in how well they treat boys: Do they allow for plenty of movement: Active boys have a harder time sitting all day than do many girls. They may prefer reading about insects and monsters more than do girls.  They may like plot-driven stories of adventure and heroism more than talky books about relationships between girls who are clearly superior to the male protagonist. Does the teacher accept a measure of “hyperactivity” or is she too quick to refer the child to the principal or to a physician for Ritalin
Encourage your child to pursue extracurricular activities that are respectful of boys’–especially your boy’s ways of being. Sure, for some boys, that’s sports  and rough-housing but if your boy is, for example, artistic or bookish, of course, respect that. After school, some boys would rather read a book, draw pictures, or yes, watch TV or play a video game. In moderation, there is nothing wrong with that. Indeed, recent research finds that video games yield a surprising array of learning and personal development gains.
It’s long been argued that role models portrayed on TV and in movies affect kids. So boys need to see positive role models in the media, especially since their teachers will overwhelmingly be female

So…. Show your boy books with positive male protagonists. PBS has assembled this list, “Best Books for Boys.” It offers many types of model boys, not just athletes, soldiers, etc. nor just hyper-feminized types.

Do remember that even as boys get beyond the traditional age when parents read aloud to kids, your 6 to 10 year old may still enjoy it, and it’s a good parent-child bonding experience.
Similarly, encourage your child to watch TV shows and movies that present positive boy and men protagonists, who demonstrate heroism, prudent risk-taking and drive, used to admirable ends. Alas, there is a dearth of recent such movies so I’ve had to dig into the archive. Fortunately, all are available on NetFlix, Amazon Instant Video, etc:  Back to the Future, Home Alone, Dead Poets Society, ET, Field of Dreams, The Black Stallion, The Great Escape, James and the Giant Peach, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Lion King, Rocky, Big, The Red Balloon, Rudy, and the first Harry Potter movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Helping your child acquire reasonable but not excessive self-esteem lays the foundation for a thoughtful, fair-minded exploration of career options. How parents can facilitate that will be the subject of my next article, to appear in the next newsletter.

Marty Nemko is a career counselor and on the Coaltion for a White House Council on Boys and Men. His bio is in Wikipedia.

The Single Sex Classrooms Debate

The Single Sex Classrooms Debate by Michael Gurian (This article first appeared in the commission newsletter, The Proposal.)
When I began to develop nature-based theory more than 25 years ago, I did not know it would be used in all of the ways it has been.  I am proud of its application in our nation’s schools.  Our teachers are our heroes and they need all the tools they can get, especially to help struggling students.

Among my initial findings were the struggles both boys and girls experienced in schools and communities because the staff and parents were only learning about gender roles (which is indeed a very important topic) but not gender.  Gender, not gender roles, impacts every student’s learning curve.  My nature-based gender theory starts with gender brain science (the nature part of the human equation), then moves to nurture and culture; it gives teachers, parents and others a holistic way to create healthy social systems for both boys and girls.
Of course not everyone agrees with the gender lens.  The ACLU’s attack on single gender classrooms and schools is an example.  Utilizing “research” from a very small cadre of social thinkers that do not represent the ideas of most people in the field, they argue that differences between males and females are minimal, (i.e. the gender lens is unnecessary), and that allowing schools and parents to choose educational options is dangerous. These folks make their points by attacking schools, misquoting and misconstruing my work and the work of others in the field, and saying that they represent the gender science and the families of our era.
In an interesting twist to this ongoing debate, a recent New York Times story on single gender education included a number of schools the Gurian Institute has worked with. However, the paper chose not to report any of the information from the scientists I asked them to talk with, nor print any of the responses I and others gave them to the superficial and cherry-picked theory in ACLU lawsuits. They basically published the few people and superficial ideas that fit the ACLU ideology.
In order to understand this debate fully, I hope you’ll go deeper.  Please study the schools that are innovating with a gender lens, whether they are coed, single gender, Montessori, or other, and raise your voices in support of them.
We will leave a legacy of choice and educational excellence for all students no matter their zip code if we come together in support of options in education.
Michael Gurian is an internationally recognized author, family therapist, and child advocate. gurianinstitute.com
 
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“Young Voices” attends Brown and Black Forum (video)

“Young Voices” is a new program on TV/radio in which young men tell their stories of living through the boy crisis. They also attend events live in the field to listen and offer their voices. A few representatives attended the Democratic Brown and Black Forum in Iowa. Here are the three short videos from that event.

Live From The Field: Introduction

Bernie Sanders Campaign Representative Interview

Martin O’Malley Campaign Representatives Interview

Follow our YouTube channel for more content coming soon.

Raising Kids and Running a Household: How Working Parents Share the Load

Pew Study parents work life balance bar graphA new survey report from Pew Research Centers:

While mothers and fathers offer somewhat different views of the division of labor in their household, there is general agreement about who in their family is more job- or career-focused. For example, in two-parent households where the mother and father work full time, 62% say both are equally focused on work, while about one-in-five (22%) say the father is more focused and 15% say the mother is. Differences in the responses to this question between mothers and fathers in this type of household are modest.

The full news report is here.

Bringing an End to Custody Battles at the Holidays for the Good of the Children

Chart of custodial mother or fatherFrom Jim Ellis interviewing Dianna Thompson in The Legacy:

Many in society are aware of the prevalence of divorce and have a general idea of the impact on children. The landscape of fatherless homes is harsh, as shown by the statistics.

The non-profit National Father Initiative reported on a U.S. Census Bureau finding that 24 million children in America – one out of every three – live in biological father-absent homes. Nine in ten American parents agree this is a “crisis.”

  • According to research conducted by Joan Berlin Kelly, author of “Surviving the Break-up,” 50 percent of mothers “see no value in the father’s continued contact with his children after a divorce.”
  • The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry report “Frequency of Visitation by Divorced Fathers,” claimed that “40 percent of mothers reported that they had interfered with the noncustodial father’s visitation on at least one occasion, to punish their ex-spouse.”…

Thompson believes she knows where the fathers – the supposed deadbeat dads of the world – have gone. “I really think the fathers are right where the courts put them – locked out of their children’s lives.”

The whole article is here.

Work With Boys—Not Against Their Nature

Man playing catch with boyFrom Christina Hoff Sommers in the New York Times:

Rather than try to change the basic nature of boys, why not work with who they are? Consider the all-too-typical case of Justin, a Southern California boy who loved science fiction, pirates and battles. An alarmed teacher summoned his parents to school to discuss a picture the 8-year-old had drawn of a sword fight — which included several decapitated heads. Justin was a well-behaved, normal little boy, but the teacher expressed grave concern about Justin’s values. The boy’s father was astonished, not by his son’s drawing — typical boy stuff — but by the teachers lack of sympathy for his son’s imagination. If boys are constantly subject to disapproval for their interests and enthusiasms they are likely to become disengaged and lag further behind.

Full article is here.

Say good-bye to the “involved dad”

From Michael Kress in the Washington Post:

I know what you’re thinking. Many dads still have not earned the “involved” adjective. Perhaps they’re emotionally distant, focused on the traditional breadwinner role. Or worse, far too many are absent entirely, leaving their children without a father and the mothers to fend for themselves as sole parent and provider. (Of course, women who’ve chosen to raise their children without a male partner or spouse are a different story!)

So what’s the problem with the phrase “involved dad?”

For one thing, it lets the uninvolved off the hook, as if those of us who are present in our kids’ lives are the exceptions, or exceptional, doing something different, unusual, special. No, we’re not; we’re just dads. Let the rest of them be labeled “uninvolved dads,” with the assumption being that a father by definition is one who does more than inseminate a woman.

The whole article is here.