We begin by considering the evidence for a growing gender gap in academic achievement. From kindergarten through college, boys are now doing less well in most school subjects compared with their sisters. That gender gap is growing not primarily because girls are doing better, but because boys are doing worse. As we will see, that’s true for Black, White, and Latino boys (it is somewhat less true for Asian boys); it’s true for affluent, middle-income, and low-income boys; it’s true for boys living in the city, in the suburbs, and in rural areas. It’s a robust finding.
Being a gentleman and a scholar is no longer cool. For many Black, White and Latino boys today, academic excellence is seen as unmasculine (for more on this point see my book Boys Adrift, especially chapters 2 and 7).
We then consider the evidence which points to five separate factors driving these changes:
The focus of the presentation is on what parents need to know in order to help their son to become a confident, productive, and self-reliant young man. I share many concrete strategies, alongside stories of parents who have successfully turned their sons around, as well as answers to questions such as: