What’s up with men? Do our boys face more dangers than our girls?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series What's up with men?
US Dept of Health and Human Services report on dangers boys face

CLICK THE IMAGE to read the entire report.

NOTE FROM DR. WAYNE BAKER: This week, we welcome back our popular contributing columnist Terry Gallagher. This is the third column in this series …

Remember “Take Your Daughter to Work Day”?

I know it was expanded more than a decade ago to “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” And its current mission is to “inspire a future generation of girls and boys by helping bring them into the workplace to explore the many life choices they have.”

But the original impulse for the annual event, created by the Ms. Foundation in the early 1990s, was “designed to specifically address self-esteem issues unique to girls,” according to a Wikipedia entry. And that is still a very worthy cause. Because, despite their strong gains over the last two generations, women are still underrepresented in leadership roles in business, government and other sectors.

But what do we do about the boys? It’s pretty clear that adolescent boys are much worse off than girls the same age. They’re more likely to drop out of school, to be incarcerated, to abuse drugs and alcohol.

Boys are more likely than girls to be the victims of violent crimes, five times more likely to be victims of homicide. The suicide rate for teenage boys is three and a half times that for teenage girls.

Overall, the mortality rate for boys 15 to 19 is 2.4 times that for girls the same age.

Teenage boys are really suffering in our society today. When we wonder how men got the way they are, we ought to look at how they lived as teenagers.

Do you think taking them to work one day a year will make a difference?

Want to know more about the “talking points” concerning boys that I’ve listed today? Click the image, above, to view a printable PDF version from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS THIS SUMMER: Terry Gallagher will write four OurValues series in the summer of 2014. In recent years, he has written about a wide range of topics; you can read more than 100 of his past columns by clicking on this link. Email us at [email protected] with suggestions for Terry. And, we always invite you to comment (below) or to share this column on Facebook (use the blue-“f” icons).

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  1. Jane Wells says

    As the mother of sons this terrifies me.
    I recently read an article that addresses the drugging of the American boy through over-diagnosis of ADHD and ADD, a direct result of the “girlification” of elementary school. I witnessed this first-hand – which is why I pulled my sons from public school and began homeschooling a year ago. I have no regrets that my sons are now free to be as “boy” as they were made to be.

  2. Debra Darvick says

    The feminist movement set out to strengthen the female world by denigrating boys. As the mother of a son in the early 80’s I saw this again and again. Mothers dressed their daughters in T-shirts that read Boys are Stupid! Greeting card stores featured lines of cards criticizing men because they were men. They would have been picketed had those cards been about women.

    Mothers raised daughters to be independent, take-on-the-world adults and now wring their hands b/c their daughters do not want to marry and there are few men who feel the need to commit to a relationship. The Pill had a lot to do with this, too, by “liberating” women to be as sexually rampant as men. And at the same time we wanted to turn our men into women. And in an Orwellian turn of events, the physical image of a man — buff, muscular, a hunk — became visual shorthand for gay men. As Seinfeld said, not that there’s anything wrong with being gay, I am merely pointing out a complete reversal in a complete reversal in a visual.

    There are fewer and fewer fathers in place raising the sons they created and women who can’t see beyond trotting out their “baby daddy.” Boys NEED male role models, they must have their special gifts and innate strengths celebrated. God Bless author Michael Gurian who studies and writes about the need to cherish and sustain our boys.

    Today is my son’s 30th birthday. My column celebrates the special wonder of boys and the joy of raising a son.