Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New studies highlight needs of boys in K-12, higher education

Date:
January 31, 2010
Source:
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Summary:
Boys face high rates of a variety of mental health issues, in addition to lagging behind girls in academic performance and college attendance, according to two new studies. The studies note that boys have higher rates of suicide, conduct disorders, emotional disturbance, premature death and juvenile delinquency than their female peers, as well as lower grades, test scores and college attendance rates.

Boys face high rates of a variety of mental health issues, in addition to lagging behind girls in academic performance and college attendance, according to two new papers by University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Judith Kleinfeld.

The studies, recently published in the journal Gender Issues, note that boys have higher rates of suicide, conduct disorders, emotional disturbance, premature death and juvenile delinquency than their female peers, as well as lower grades, test scores and college attendance rates.

The first paper, "The State of American Boyhood," offers a status report on the academic, mental and social health of boys in the United States. Her conclusion: There is neither a "girl crisis" nor a "boy crisis."

"Rather, boys and girls suffer from different types of characteristic problems," Kleinfeld wrote, noting that girls have higher rates of depression, suicide attempts and eating disorders. "Schools need to pay attention to the difficulties of both girls and boys and bring these problems to the attention of families, teachers and mental health professionals."

Still, boys are in far more serious trouble, she argues. The gender gap in reading and writing at the end of high school, for example, is far wider than the gap in math and science ever was. More than a quarter of American male high school graduates can't understand a newspaper article, compared to about 10 percent of girls.

Kleinfeld's second study, "No Map to Manhood: Male and Female Mindsets Behind the College Gender Gap," drew on in-depth interviews with 99 high school seniors in the Fairbanks area, as well as national statistics on college attendance. She aimed to shed light on why boys are less likely than girls to seek postsecondary education.

"Males who do not have a college education are far more vulnerable to unemployment and the wages of men without a college education are plummeting," Kleinfeld said.

She notes that nearly 60 percent of college students are female, but that most studies don't ask graduating seniors why they are making the choices they do. Kleinfeld chose to focus her interviews on Alaska students because Alaska has one of the highest college-attendance gender gaps in the nation.

Through her interviews, she found several reasons why boys are less apt to go to college. Some mistakenly thought they could earn high wages right away without a college education, deciding they would rather get paid for working than pay for college. Some had limited knowledge of the job market and little concept of how much it costs to live a middle-class lifestyle. Many simply disliked school and didn't want more of it.

Her interviews also showed that high school students, both boys and girls, are stereotyping boys. Kleinfeld notes that when she asked students about the gender gap in education, their explanations centered on three themes: young men are lazy, they don't plan ahead and they are prone to peer pressure.

"Boys are getting little respect," Kleinfeld said. "These negative stereotypes may well further depress boys' academic achievement."

Kleinfeld hopes her current work will offer more insight on the reasons why boys are struggling. Her newest study focuses on pressures on men in American society and changing concepts of manhood. In addition to her position on the UAF faculty, Kleinfeld is director of The Boys Project, a national program that aims to promote discussion and action on the educational and cultural needs of boys.

The full text of both papers is available online at http://www.boysproject.net/resources.html.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alaska Fairbanks. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alaska Fairbanks. "New studies highlight needs of boys in K-12, higher education." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100126091733.htm>.
University of Alaska Fairbanks. (2010, January 31). New studies highlight needs of boys in K-12, higher education. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100126091733.htm
University of Alaska Fairbanks. "New studies highlight needs of boys in K-12, higher education." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100126091733.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins