The war on boys

If you turn on the news these days, one of the first things you will discover is that “being a boy” will very often get you thrown out of school, suspended or even arrested.

Consider, for example, this 10-year-old boy who was suspended for pointing his finger like a gun. Or this eight-year-old boy who used his finger as a gun. Or this six-year-old boy

You know the slogan, “point your finger, go to jail.”

The very fact that there exists one school administrator, not to mention many, who does not understand that this is simply how boys play is alarming enough.

But this is only the beginning of the war on boys. Matt Walsh goes into great detail in this excellent post.

A few highlights:

According to the CDC, more than 20 percent of 14-year-old boys have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lifetime. Twenty percent.

Boys are 125 percent more likely to be stuck with the ADHD label than girls, and 127 percent more likely to be medicated for it.

I suppose we can chalk this up to a mental disorder that mysteriously discriminates based on sex, or we could contemplate the possibility that we have turned boyhood into a disease. Overall, young males are almost twice as likely to be deemed “learning disabled.” Could boys really be this inherently flawed, or is the system itself flawed?

Whether or not a boy manages to exhibit the “correct” personality traits and narrowly avoid a psychiatric diagnosis, he has a much greater chance of being expelled or suspended from school. In fact, boys make up about 70 percent of the suspensions from grades K – 12. They’re also five times more likely to be expelled from pre-school.

And then there is this:

Feeling abandoned, angry, hateful, and confused, guys are about 4 times more likely to kill themselves than girls. It’s true that females attempt suicide at a higher rate, but males are at an exponentially greater risk of completing the horrible deed.

And the story doesn’t end there. While (if) these boys grow into men, it is much more probable that they will become alcoholics and drug addicts.

Everyone knows that men are infinitely more likely to go to prison, but did you know they even receive longer sentences for the same crimes? Indeed, women convicted on the same charges are twice as likely to avoid incarceration altogether.

Is this what you call “male privilege”?

Privileged to be drugged as a child, expelled from school as a teenager, and incarcerated as an adult? Privileged to bad grades, a psychiatric diagnosis, and an early death?

I don’t agree with everything in Matt Walsh’s post, but I would like to point out that, as a father of three boys, I worry about a culture that is attempting more and more to emasculate them. A boy who bullies another boy or who beats people up should be punished. But a boy who points his finger at another boy? He should be allowed to be a boy.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

17 thoughts on “The war on boys

  1. Would I be correct in assuming that you’re opposed to sweeping accusations that there’s a “war on women”? If so, do you think it’s appropriate to turn around and use the same harsh rhetoric when it’s a cause you happen to agree with? I don’t mean that in a snarky way–I think certain aspects of our education system puts boys, especially young ones, at a disadvantage–but I’m troubled by such polarizing language to describe it.

  2. CD, Satan is warring against everyone, against men, women, boys, girls, masculinity and femininity. “Progressives are henchmen of the devil.” Full quote:

    The Progressives in their smirking self-righteous piety and grotesque self-imposed ignorance are henchmen of the devil. Some know it, most do not. They stand between a woman and her human nature, her happiness, her children, and they speak the selfsame lie. The source of your happiness is the barrier to happiness. Destroy the source of your happiness, toss happiness aside, and you will be happy.

    John C. Wright, agreeing with David Warren.

  3. Christina Hoff Sommers covered this topic pretty thoroughly in her book _The war against boys: How misguided feminism is harming our young men_ back in 2000.

  4. I agree with you on this. We have boys as well, and I worry about what kind of climate they will have to live in. We encourage our boys to be boys — not in a mean or obnoxious way, but to run and play and to just be who they are. I think this is why the Family Proclamation warns about the importance of gender identity. We’re not supposed to all be and act the same.

  5. This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart, as I am an unapologetic patriarchist.

  6. “I am an unapologetic patriarchist.”

    As will not be a surprise, so am I because I believe without strong men there cannot be a healthy society. on the other hand, I also believe that without nurturing women there cannot be a healthy society. The body of Christ is more than the head.

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