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Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

Book Description

Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. The gender gap in college attendance and graduation rates has widened dramatically. While Emily is working hard at school and getting A’s, her brother Justin is goofing off. He’s more concerned about getting to the next level in his videogame than about finishing his homework. Now, Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents practical solutions, sharing strategies which educators have found effective in re-engaging these boys at school, as well as handy tips for parents about everything from homework, to videogames, to medication.

Table of Contents

  1. Praise
  2. Title Page
  3. Dedication
  5. 1 - THE RIDDLE
    1. More Than Just School
  6. 2 - THE FIRST FACTOR Changes at School
    1. Why Is That a Problem?
    2. Hold Him Back So He’ll Get Ahead
    3. What Are Little Girls Made Of?
    4. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
    5. How Is a Child Different from a Programmable Computer?
    6. Good News: The Boys’ Crisis Is a Myth!
    7. “How Would You Feel If You Were Piggy?”—And Other Questions Unfriendly to Boys
    8. The Right Kind of Competition
    9. What About Self-Esteem?
    10. What About Columbine—and Virginia Tech?
  7. 3 - THE SECOND FACTOR Video Games
    1. The Will to Power
    2. Dumb and Dumber
    3. The Polar Bear Club
  8. 4 - THE THIRD FACTOR Medications for ADHD
    1. “Why Not Give It a Try?”
    2. The Nucleus Accumbens
    3. Video Games Actually Do Fry Your Brain
    4. “An Antiquated Relic of the Victorian Era”
  9. 5 - THE FOURTH FACTOR Endocrine Disruptors
    1. Fish on the Wild Side
    2. She’s Only Eight Years Old, But She Could Pass for Twelve or Fourteen
    3. Puberty Out of Synch
    4. Bottled Water, Pacifiers, and Baby Bottles
    5. Endocrine Disruptors, ADHD, and Motivation
    6. Why Have Kids Gotten So Fat?
    7. Are Boys Now the More Fragile Sex?
    8. Neither Male nor Female
    9. Private Parts
  10. 6 - END RESULT Failure to Launch
    1. What Happened to Money?
    2. John Craft’s Dilemma
    3. The Lesson of the Pribilof Islands
    4. What’s Going On?
    5. The Changing American Household
    6. Whatever Happened to Money and Sex?
    7. The Stick of Duty
    8. Failure to Launch
  11. 7 - THE FIFTH FACTOR The Revenge of the Forsaken Gods
    1. Enduring Cultures Have One Thing in Common
    2. American Culture—Toxic to Boys—and to Girls?
    3. The Significance of Gender
    4. The Changing American Father
    5. What Does It Mean to Be a Man?
    6. What About Girls?
  12. 8 - DETOX
    1. The First Factor: Changes in Education
    2. The Second Factor: Video Games
    3. The Third Factor: Medications for ADHD
    4. How Often Does a Teenage Boy “Develop” ADHD?
    5. The Fourth Factor: Endocrine Disruptors
    6. The Fifth Factor: The Loss of Positive Role Models
    7. Restore the Bond Between Generations
    8. A Word of Warning
    9. One Story
  14. Acknowledgements
  15. NOTES
  16. INDEX
  17. Copyright Page