A friend sent me a link to a blog post, written by a mom about boys: 11 things Only Parents of Boys Understand. It’s well done, funny, and insightful. But in “thing #2” came that familiar storyline that we continue to perpetrate to the detriment of our sons:
2. Simultaneously hating and being grateful for the privilege your son will have as an adult male. This is a tough one. We all want our children to succeed and let’s be honest, males — particularly white males — have an advantage in the skewed world we live in. It’s easier for them. We don’t like it. We fight hard to change it. We rail against it with every fiber of our feminist being. But in the back of our minds, we breathe an uneasy sigh of relief that our boys will not struggle as hard as others. We hate ourselves for it, but we do it nonetheless.
So let’s review the “privilege” our boys experience in the 21st Century. Boys are:
- Expelled from preschool at 5 times the rate as girls
- 4 times as likely to be diagnosed with a learning disorder
- For every 100 girls suspended from elementary and secondary school, 250 boys are suspended
- For every 100 girls expelled, 355 boys are expelled.
- For every 100 girls diagnosed with a learning disorder, 276 boys are so diagnosed.
- For every 100 girls diagnosed with an emotional disturbance, 324 boys are so diagnosed.
- Boys are 3 times as likely to be treated for ADHD
- 85% of stimulant addressing meds are prescribed to boys in the US
- 70% of D’s and F’s are given to boys
- Over the last 20 years the reading skills of the average 17 year old boy have been on decline
- Almost 1 in 4 boys with college educated parents can’t read a newspaper with understanding
- More girls than boys are now attending most of our colleges
- Young adult women are now making more money than young adult men
As long as we continue to perpetuate the old storyline of male privilege, our boys and men will fall further and further behind in school, jobs, and life. And this can only have a devastating impact on our families and culture.
So perhaps it’s time to drop that old storyline and create a new one: A storyline where we invest equally in our boys and girls to ensure that our boys and girls grow to become the men and women God created them to be.