Shelly's Reviews > Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax
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's review
Jan 18, 2009

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bookshelves: borrowed-from-the-library, finished-in-2009, non-fiction
Read in January, 2009

If you have sons or work with boys, you should do them a favour and read this book. Even if you don't agree with a lot of it, it will at least make you stop and consider.

Dr. Leonard Sax is saying there are five specific issues in todays society that are affecting the way our young men are turning out. More and more males are suffering from a "failure to launch" ... they are living at home longer, less likely to be interested in getting any kind of job, content to stay with mom and dad and do nothing. The good news is that there are ways to combat this trend, but it might take time and a lot of pushing from groups of parents.

The five issues:

Changes in education - lack of competition in school leads to disengaging of boys... too much importance placed on book learning vs. actual experience... less sports/field trips etc to engage the natural curiosity in children... 'nature deficit disorder'

Video Games - giving boys the quick fix sensation of accomplishments... able to try a dozen things without having to fear any kind of real consequences...

Prescription drugs - the overuse of medications for ADD/ADHD may be causing irreversible damage to the motivational centres in boys' brains... this ties in some with the changes in education as more boys are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD now than there ever has been in the past...

Endocrine Disruptors - environmental isses that may be lowering the testosterone levels in boys ... throwing their endocrine systems out of wack

and the big one that really hit home for me, personally (other than the video games... oh so true, that one) was the Devaluation of Masculinity - shifts in popular culture have transformed the role models of manhood. Forty years ago we had Father Knows Best; today we have The Simpsons.

The chaper on masulinity held some real eye openers in how our culture has shifted in less than fifty years. I've always felt that boys needed some sort of 'boy only' activities in their lives... in todays world it is next to impossible to find these activities anymore. Scouts are co-ed... cadets are co-ed... sports are co-ed... where can our boys learn to be men without the influence of girls?

The book made me really take a hard look at the topics presented, and I liked that it made me sit back and really /think/ about these things.
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01/15/2009 page 79

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