The war on boys: Young men losing ground in education, emotional health and jobs

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  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 3, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    On the one hand, the best way to fix this problem is the same best way to fix many problems; fix the family. Make families strong and loving.

    On the other, it is insensetive to suppose that there is no intended or concentrated attack on males. Stop and look at how frequently men and boys are the butt of the joke, or the incompetent goon on television. Stop and think critically about the many feminist claims and ideals, and how vehemntly they continue to push the support of women and exlcusively women, citing flawed and outdated information to paint a one-sided picture of gender equality. Look to the countless implicit claims today that families do not require a father and a mother, that two of one or only one will do.

  • lynn oliver Milledgeville, GA
    Dec. 25, 2013 1:09 p.m.

    Please see how differential treatment is creating differences. See stress more correctly as layers of mental work that take up real mental energy. See how more aggressive treatment of young Males creates higher stress that hurts learning/motivation (mental reward received for mental work expended). Also creates higher muscle tension that hurts handwriting/motivation to write; and creates more activity for stress relief. Try to see the social/emotional distance created by more aggressive more authoritarian treatment by parents and teachers. Try to see the need for love/honor not given unless achieving, sending more Males to video games or sports for feelings of self-worth. Try to see how the girls are given much more kind, stable, verbal interaction and other menta/emotional/social support and care through adulthood.

  • BlueEyesFr Paris, 00
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:18 a.m.

    Continued from previous post

    In my family, if it had not been for my mother, we would have ended homeless.... I am not the only one to be in that situation. Millions of women are happy they have a job because they were either abondonned by their husband or had to divorce because they were abused, neglected or cheated,or just because in this uncertain and risky world they were safer being single.

    No it is not a war against boys.... it is a struggle for survival and gender equality.

  • BlueEyesFr Paris, 00
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:16 a.m.

    They maybe a war against bad boys but there is certainly not a war agains boys. i have always worked in international firms and corporation and most of the management there were males. In the course of my professional activities, i had to do some search on companies and when i look at who is at managerial levels, In 95 per cent of cases, the number of women represents 5 to 10 per cent of the team compared to men. Do the statistics on a world level, it will be the same.

    So if men are lagging behind it is not because of a war against them, it is because they lack the motivation and will to succeed. And if women get ahead in the classrom, it is beacause, considering the world in which we live and the past, they know that their chance at surviving in this world where men are no longer dependable for the majority (though definitely some are.... hopefully on the long term) is to be financially independent. (to be continued)

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Oct. 8, 2012 7:05 a.m.

    As the mother of a house full of boys and a couple of girls too, I can tell you boys and girls learn differently. Generalising here, but boys are usually hands on challenge oriented. Girls usually like quiet, book oriented learning. This alone makes it harder for boys to learn because the classroom is not a place condusive to their type of learning. Then take the fact that most teachers are women and many have no patience for roudy boys.
    The solution is one many will not like because it sounds like segagation. Boys in one classroom, girls in another. Or more specifically Hands on learners, taught one way, quiet book learners taught another. This would give every child the opportunity to grasp what is being taught.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 7, 2012 4:46 p.m.

    The points in the article are well documented. Boys and girls learn differently. Boys feel good when they compete, girls compete when they feel good. Competition in schools is seen as a bad thing, boys are not seen as worth-while because of the desire/need to be active and challenge, because girls tend not to be that way. The "good kid" model is one who doesn't need to complete or be active. Those who do are labeled and medications recommended. As an active Scouter, I see where that program is tailored to that mindset. The very definition of kinetic energy is an 8 yr old in a blue shirt......let them be boys, let them compete and they will learn. Recognize that boys and girls learn differently, it isn't discrimination but a recognition of facts. Let each gender learn in the environment best suited for them and lets enjoy the results.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Oct. 7, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    Is it any wonder the Tea Party Exists? Look no further than the government's meddling in every thing that is happening in our society, including another 'blue ribbon' panel to figure this one out. The federal government, abetted in their power vacuum by the 'do gooders' within both major parties, have supported abortion on demand, gay marraige, tax policies that support divorce, unwed mothers, fatherless homes, and a host of other social ills that destry family life. Wake up! Boys need good examples, choice with consequences (that allow them to learn early), and opportunity, none of which exists in our current drive to control, manage, and force every step of human endeaver, all of it found within the democratic and republican parties. Get the Democrats and the Republicans out of the way, allow liberty to exist, and return to the author of liberty, God, and all will be well.

  • nhsaint PETERBOROUGH, NH
    Oct. 7, 2012 12:28 a.m.

    As a teacher and single mother of three grown children (a son and two daughters), I found this article interesting. At the time of my divorce, my ex-husband moved out of state, abdicating responsibility for the children to me. He would go six months at a time without seeing his son, the oldest at age 12. His daughters he saw more frequently at first, but later he also stopped seeing them.

    My daughters are both college graduates with healthy relationships. My son has struggled since adolescence, despite high intelligence and a myriad of talents. No college, low level jobs.

    My children did not watch tv or movies growing up (hence no negative influences there), and they attended a great private school with children who were likewise protected.

    Their world was filled with music education, sports, all wholesome activities that they chose. I gave them all the same opportunities and support, but I see clearly that the lack of a male influence was devastating for my son. And if anyone imagines that there are worthy men out there clammering to help these fatherless boys, they are sadly mistaken. We need to hold fathers accountable to their children after divorce, period.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    April 15, 2012 12:02 a.m.

    I recently watched a TV program that addressed this very subject. Part of the program showed a Catholic all boys school. Their program was very interesting, in that one of the teachers, who was female, stated that boys are essentially treated like "defective females" in conventional schools. This all boys Catholic school had a very high success rate in college acceptance for these boys. Their curriculum involved a lot of interaction, geared for competition, between the boys, to learn. It was very interesting.

  • Ironhide Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2012 12:44 a.m.

    To me, this is about the media. Music, television, pop culture suggest that responsibility, maturity, marriage, child rearing, and especially education are all for nerds or complete fools. Selfishness and the path of least resistance abound. "Dudes are dumb" themes have been common for my growing up life and this is what society gets in return. Using the TV to babysit, where an unreal and unhealthy reality is conveyed and believed is at least one of the culprits to this problem. I can count ten friends that didn't go to college. Of those, 1 has a decent job. That means he MIGHT be able to pay a mortgage with it. Not that it matters, he has a truck and boat and lives with his parents. Oh, he's 31 years old. The other nine friends are working in the mall, or at entry level positions because of there lack of education. They're all at least 30! I don't want to hear about the rare exceptions that happen to make a good living without school. All of my other friends that went to school are all in manager positions or higher and make over 60 grand a year.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 11, 2012 3:23 p.m.

    There's also a war on fathers, husbands, and traditional family. Almost every family program, the father is made to look like a stooge.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    April 11, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    If one father is good, wouldn't two be better? eg; "Modern Family"

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 11, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    When I went to elementary school all of the teachers were women and I recall one boy complaining that one teacher favored girls over boys.

    I'm not sure if that was true as I never noticed that personally, but today I know that males are portrayed as inferior and made the butt of jokes on television, or caricatured snd stereotyped in other unfavorable ways. All this passes into the psyches of the young and impressionable. Females, on the other hand, are excused in their negative behaviors where males would be roundly condemned.

    We have had a generation of this; in fact we are into the second feminist generation. Much of the problem comes from or is perpetuated by unbalanced legislation, and is grounded in an epidemic of divorces, followed by custody of the mother over the father, from greedy lawyers, activist judges etc.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    April 7, 2012 1:21 a.m.

    I'm a single father of a daughter. I'm prepared to send her to college in a few years but I'm appaled at how many parents I hear say thier kids will be on thier own in college. They aren't saying they will help as much as they can, just that thier kids are on thier own. Particularly parents of boys I hear this from.

    Just a theory but I think parents support thier daughters more than they do boys. Or are more likely to let thier boys fend for themselves than they would thier daughters.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    April 7, 2012 1:13 a.m.

    Can we stop overusing "the war on" whatever?

  • Kiyo Washougal, Washington
    April 6, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    .......The girls go to college, and the boys go to jail....A common scenario across every demographic.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    April 6, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    The problem is that you aren't making boys succeed in school. If your son isn't reading ever night, he's going to fail. But hey, let's skip school for the deer hunt, spring break, and that family vacation! Let's go to youth night before a test the next day.

    Put education and grades foremost, and you'll get the results. Boys like competition. Make them compete for grades.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    April 6, 2012 8:48 p.m.

    You want boys to get more involved in social sciences, language arts, and education? Foster that as a goal. Stop having youth nights with basketball, scouting, and video games. Get boys to read. Encourage reading. Start calling out masculine attitudes about "that's just what boys do".

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    Wow the "so called experts" are finally realizing what I have been stating for decades. I have no problem giving people equal chances at success. Girls, boys, straight, gay, black, white, yellow, purple, green, red, orange or whatever.

    The problem is when you put one group at a disadvantage and call it "diversity" or "payback". Something white people are having to work through as "minorities" get green lights into graduate schools, have fewer restrictions and any road block taken from them. Meanwhile if your white trying to get into a business school. Good luck. Even if your grades are higher and your more qualified, they'll take someone else based on gender or skin color.

    What's the point in trying. You apply for a job, and they'll take someone who isn't white to meet quotas.

    Thanks alot "intellectual" left. You've done a great disservice to this country. Discrimination is discrimination no matter what the skin color or gender of the person.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    April 5, 2012 2:25 p.m.

    Rights without responsibility. Actions without consequences. (of course the consequences always come)

    That is the problem in a nutshell. A belief in God and morality is the cure. Always has been, always will be. Some with a moral compass will fail, and some without will succeed, but those are the exceptions.

  • clutch VERNAL, UT
    Feb. 20, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    What exactly is the "feminization" of the classroom? Before women were even permitted to seek a formal education it was men who largely ran the schools and only boys (wealthy boys) that went to school. I'm thinking they pretty much determined how formal education was developed (i.e. the sit at desks, do your reading, listen to teacher, etc. model.) Are we to believe that it was women who made up the model of sitting at a desk all day reading and writing? I'm sorry, but that is ridiculous. Formal education was never modeled around the female student, but it was modeled around a student that was expected to act unlike a child.

    I just think this idea that somehow women, or the dreaded feminists, are behind all of this is RIDICULOUS! Blame lack of male rolemodels, family structure, student and parent discipline,etc., but it is not because of some misguided femininism that boys are falling behind now.

  • willow Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2012 2:16 p.m.

    My son is a June birthday. He went to kindergarten "on time" but it was a difficult year. I knew he wasn't ready for first grade so we had him repeat kinder and it has been the best decision we ever made. He has excelled and has gained confidence and has learned to read! We did have to fight hard for it to happen as the principal didn't think it was necessary (and didn't want to mess with his numbers of kids repeating a grade), but I knew it was best for my son and so I fought the good fight.

  • Caprice PROVIDENCE, UT
    Feb. 20, 2012 3:47 a.m.

    Thank you for targeting the number one social ill in America as it relates to boys. . . and actually to girls as well-- the absence of engaged fathers. I remember reading a poster by the National Fatherhood Initiative that said, "What reduces crime, drug use, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency and require no new taxes?" The answer. . . . . "GOOD FATHERS!" The price we are paying for the absence of fathers in our children's lives is staggering. Did you know that close to 80% of all criminals on death row in our prisons grew up in homes without a father? Over one third of all babies born in a America today come home from the hospital to a home with no father. And in the Black community, close to 90% all all babies born, are born to single mothers. The reversal of father absence needs to become a national priority. Father absence is truly at the core of every problem our young boys are facing and will continue to be saddled with throughout their entire lives--many of them never even knowing who their real father is. It's a vicious cycle that is growing larger and larger with every passing year. Good fathers are essential to raising successful children--both boys and girls. It's time to focus on helping fathers realize their worth and encouraging them to step up to the plate and be real men when it comes to raising their children. Check with the National Fatherhood Initiative for updated details. You will be sickened by the harm that fatherlessness has on our society, and you will be encouraged at the research proving what a positive difference good fathers can provide by putting their children's needs ahead of their own.

  • realsoothsayer SANDY, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 10:45 p.m.

    This goes back several years, and I'll site the great Affirmative Action program mandated by the Federal government. This made the white male the most expendable and least marketable species on Earth. And statistics continue to lie: the reason average pay for women trails men is because women choose careers that don't pay as much, and don't focus on career development as much. Many are just looking for that giant meal ticket called "marriage," and figure that's their ticket to whatever else they need. And all this math and science stuff--I have friends who got advanced degrees in these fields and still had NO job offers whatsoever. Our society is full of fluff, fantasy, fallacy, and folly.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 19, 2012 10:00 p.m.

    I've heard some schools have recess before lunch, instead of after lunch and, as a result, the kids are quieter and calmer during lunchtime. Allowing kids to move around during the day not only helps boys, but also those with ADHD/ADD.

    Our son had a summer birthday. The school district we were in had a kindergarten, pre-first and first grade. We opted to have our son take pre-first instead of going directly into first grade. He didn't need to academically, but emotionally he just needed that extra year. It was the best decision we made.

    The number of children living in poverty is increasing. It is sad. Poverty alone has a big impact on how successful children will be as adults.

  • realsoothsayer SANDY, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 9:59 p.m.

    Babies having babies doesn't work, never has worked, and never will work. We have day-care facilities in the high schools now! Very hard and expensive for a stable and honest couple to adopt a child, because the taxpayers pick up the tab for all the kids who want to keep their kids, plus all the other people who think that the American working taxpayer should fund and carry every person and problem on the planet. Time to talk about individual responsibility and people carrying the load for their own actions and decisions. Being a parent is a very hard and expensive proposition, and not a game for people who only want to replicate their weaknesses and mistakes.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 9:54 p.m.

    School system caters to girls with a "sit still and listen" approach?

    What kind of sexist stereotypes are you people propagating here?

  • realsoothsayer SANDY, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 9:52 p.m.

    Oh never mind that we have a totally dis-functional culture and society . . . just give Super Nanny even more rights and resources, and I'm sure it will be fixed. After all, government has done such a marvelous job with sparking the economy, paying off the Federal deficit, regulating business properly, never over-regulating, tort reform, nation building, protecting this homeland against invasion, developing positive relations with other nations, etc., etc. Yeah, old Super Nanny is the answer . . . and you didn't really need any of those old rights and property anyway, did you?

  • willow Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 7:48 p.m.

    I have four sons, I am married to their father, he is totally invovled in every aspect of their lives and yet they still struggle! They struggle with an educational system that caters to girls because the style of learning is sit still and listen. Their recess is taken away for the most part. They get 10 minutes the entire day. They aren't allowed to talk at lunch, they are supposed to sit still and not move and not make any noise. No wonder the diagnosis of ADHD has skyrocketed in the last few years!

  • wyogirl MOSCOW, ID
    Feb. 19, 2012 7:27 p.m.

    I teach remedial reading in grades K-5, in a Federally funded program called Title I. Most of my students are boys. I would recommend something that hasn't been suggested yet. Change the age requirement for boys to begin Kindergarten. In our district children must be 5 by September 1st to be eligible for Kindergarten. I can tell you that "young" boys - boys with spring and summer birthdays - are noticeably immature both emotionally and academically compared to the "older" boys and all of the girls in their grade level. Ask any Teacher.

    Also, I too, had wonderful Male Teachers, and my Dad was a Teacher, but Teaching is no longer an option for men who want to support their families on one income. Period. If you want men in the classroom, you have to be willing to pay them a comparative wage.

    In regards to curriculum. In my experience, educators have introduced much more "brain based" curriculum into the schools and classrooms are more "boy friendly." For example, my school has stand up desks that allow children to stand to do their work. The problem is that as funding is reduced or redirected, recess time is cut, P.E. is cut, Tech courses and other electives are cut - and these losses can not be overcome with curriculum alone.

    One last thing - single households are most often headed by Women. Instead of saying things like "defend traditional marriage" we need to ask "why are the men walking away from their responsibilities and leaving these women to cope on their own?" In my own family my Sister in law finally left my brother in law because he wouldn't get a job, wanted to spend his time playing video games and going out with friends. She told him to shape up or ship out. He chose divorce - and now he lives in his Mom's basement, while she has brought up their son, obtained more education, and made a life for herself. I think she is amazing - I see no shame in her status as a "single mother."

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 6:41 p.m.

    This articled is right on the money. There has been an all out war on boys and men in this country for at least the past 30 years. I have lived through this injustice as well as my son and four son in laws. It goes back to the bashing of men with the womens rights movement to the title 9 affirmative action. I have experienced it in employment where advancement in both elementary school and major department stores like Sears and JC Penney had strict quota's on hiring women and minorities. Obamas's administration has done nothing but bash men and support higher payouts to minorities and women. My daughter asked why her husband had so few scholarship options while she had many. My son would often be overlooked simply because he was a male. It has gone on way too long. Woman have a huge edge in education, scholarships and government programs. It is time for this to change.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 5:03 p.m.

    Think of this:

    Because of the war on public education (and I'm going to call it a war Pagan), men have left the profession or won't eve consider it in college. This has created a dearth of male role models in elementary. Even in secondary, males are leaving the teaching world in droves, they are an endangered species in elementary. Now with single parent families, mostly headed by women, these boys have less and less contact with positive male role models. Teachers and coaches can make a difference but again less and less truly qualified males are going into the field or teaching. This has to hurt. School is generally set up for girls anyway. A good well-meaning single mother can be okay raising boys, surely. But many aren't that good at parenting often dating and even shacking up with several men during the times their boys are going through their developmental issues. These boys further get modeled that this is how you treat women.

    Am I out to lunch on this?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 4:57 p.m.

    I do tend to see it that way: affirmative action for women creating and institutionalizing a prejudice against the male gender. It's too bad but it makes boys more humble than girls which may sometimes give individual males a head start spiritually. It'll all work out in the end. Meanwhile there is an unjust emotional and academic deficit and a new injustice, not really new since it's now a generation old or more.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    Think about this before you answer, what percentage of TV sitcoms and show strong male characters. Of course there are some but I'm talking a percentage here. I mean from Homer Simpson to the show Two and Half Men, what are most shows saying about males? They are stupid, they are lazy, they are sex crazed, all they do is drink beer, chase women, play video games and live in their Mom's basement. And get pushed around by women whether it be their wives, mothers and daughters?

    Schools are doing more things to maybe help boys but generally they serve boys much better. In some ways schools are hurting boys even more such as reducing PE and recess time.

    Whether this is an organized thing or not, that is actually debatable Pagan. Whether it's happening or not, that really isn't.

    This should concern us all...

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    A Federal Government Council on Boys/Men?

    I thought a majority of Utahns believed the Government can't fix anything, and only makes things worse while wasting a lot of money? But now you want a Government Council to fix this so-called "war on boys"?

    On average, Men still earn 20% more than women for the same credentials and work. Men still outnumber women in math and science and engineering by triple or more. And as this article reported, even with more advanced degrees, women earn far less than men with advanced degrees.

    We still have religious leaders in this country preaching "official" teachings that women should stay at home and be mothers rather than pursue careers, not to mention careers in traditionally male careers! In some of these religions, Young women who aspire to be engineers are marginalized, discouraged, and treated as if they are sinners who lack testimony and faith, and are disobeying Church leaders. Some actually criticize women who work for "taking a job from a man, who is responsible for providing for a family".

    The "equality" of women is still far off. Don't turn this into gender wars!

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    And why not? It would improve your life, too.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    As an elementary teacher, I have watched this war on males for the last 30 years in education. We blasted male principals and discriminated against male applicants for administrative positions. By doing so, we took away an incentive for getting males to teach despite the low salary. We implemented preferential treatment for females in science and math. We implemented constructivism as the teaching style, which was supposed to help girls, which is faulty anyway. All this has lowered the number of male teachers. No wonder the boys are doing worse in school, without even mentioning the negative effects of less men in the homes.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 12:12 p.m.

    Many teachers believe it would be a wonderful service to boys if we let girls start school at age 5 but keep boys out until age 6.

    Boys lag about a year behind girls in brain and physical development until puberty. Yet we expect the boys to perform as well as girls when they are simply not capable of doing so.

    Give them a fighting chance beginning in Kindergarten. I'll bet we'd soon see a big difference.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    So, the same White House that wants us to see the importance of both Mom and Dad is now the same White House that proposes gay marriage?

  • Capella Bakersfield, CA
    Feb. 19, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    Of course fathers and mothers make a difference in the life of children. Always have, always will.

    What Utahans have to ask themselves is why Utah continues to lead our nation in teen suicides for the past 23 years?

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    "His mother doesn't understand his struggle. She thinks he needs something that he's not getting, but what?"

    What does his Dad think? Just a hunch, this might be a HUGE part of the problem for boys everywhere.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2012 10:48 a.m.


    Yes. There is a difference in gender and example makes all the difference. Are you telling me that women act like men?

    It is not all about love and kindness. I grew up with a mother and father and learned very different things from both.

    Good fathers teach boys how to be good fathers by example.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 10:27 a.m.


    I completely agree. I was just giving one example. Girls have been under represented in science so a program was set up to equalize things. How many programs do we see set up so boys can get an upper hand? None. Boys keep getting put on the back burner while girls are given every opportunity to succeed. I'm grateful for the programs and efforts but we need to look at both sides of the equation.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 10:12 a.m.

    " I can find hundreds of others that say the best way to raise children is in a home with a mother and father."

    I find that most of those studies compare mother and father households to those with one parent and then those who oppose gay adoption extrapolate it to include gay families when really they weren't included in the study and the study was just comparing two parents to one.

    "If a lesbian couple adopts a son, who teaches that son how to be a father?"

    Is there something special one needs to learn to be a father that a mother can't teach? Be decent, kind, loving to your wife and kids, hardworking... I can't think of any special lessons I got from my dad that my mom couldn't give me... well okay maybe how to change a tire on a car since she doesn't know how to do that (I think...). I'm pretty sure that's not the linchpin of being a good father.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    @Pagan and some others. Anecdotal evidence is not enough to prove your point. You can always find exceptions to situations. The truth can generally be found in statistics, although they can also be unreliable if the wrong question is asked, but here we have undeniable proof of boys failing in school and also answers as to why this is happening. Tradional families where parents are married and faithful to each other is the main answer to the problems our society is faced with. The proof will be in the pudding, as they say, when this problem cannot be denied, even by those who stick their heads in the ground like an ostrich. (I know ostriches don't really do this.)

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 9:58 a.m.


    "This excellent article only reinforces the fact that our society is deteriorating in direct proportion to the decline of religion into a Godless socilaist environment. Other comments laugh at this reasoning."

    New Hampshire has the highest rate of atheists, and Mississippi is the most active church attendance state yet Mississippi is just about at the bottom, or is the bottom, for education.

    "The "contraception mandate" is only one sign of this tremendous struggle for control of the psyche of America and to make those of religion into second class citizens. "

    As someone who has been to church 9 weekends this year so far I'm a lot of things but oppressed isn't one of them. Catholics aren't forced to use birth control... they willingly choose to use it.

    @Utah Teacher
    I have a degree in a science related field. That field at my old university, my current university (since I'm pursuing a masters now), and overall nationwide, is roughly between 2:1 and 3:1 male. The shortage of men is coming outside of science.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    Pagan- a few questions.

    Are you a parent?

    Why is it that the studies you find are correct and all others that show something differently are incorrect? You keep repeating the same ONE article by the AAP but I can find hundreds of others that say the best way to raise children is in a home with a mother and father. You also point out Bristol Palin as one example. I can find you many more examples of exceptional parents having children that make mistakes. No one is perfect.

    If a lesbian couple adopts a son, who teaches that son how to be a father? Two women?

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    Is this the competing piece to women's health issues and the women's rights resurgence of late?
    Both men and women, young and old, are facing untold obstacles that are being thrown at them on an hourly basis.
    This is what our society has become, and unfortunately the solution to it all, is nowhere to be found.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 8:28 a.m.

    To those saying no one is attacking boys, I offer this bit of evidence.

    I teach at a local school. About three or four times a year I get fliers to hand out from two local universities. Both of them are offering programs in science for girls only. They have a special program and money set aside to educate girls in science. No boys allowed.

    Is it any wonder the boys are dropping?

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Feb. 19, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    This excellent article only reinforces the fact that our society is deteriorating in direct proportion to the decline of religion into a Godless socilaist environment. Other comments laugh at this reasoning. The family is the cornerstone of society. Attempts to replace it with "gay marriage" is only one more "nail in the coffin". Women have always been the heroic "spear carrier" for the family and children. Now, they don't want that anymore and there are feminist groups which are exploiting the innate maturity traits of women to create a wedge against the family. The "contraception mandate" is only one sign of this tremendous struggle for control of the psyche of America and to make those of religion into second class citizens.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Feb. 19, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    These boys just need to man up. And so do the parents. Get rid of the xbox as well.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    There is so much discussion about the single parent household. Unfortunately, if it is true a single parent household affects the academic abilities of boys, it must also be true it affects the academic abilities of young girls, too, effectively canceling the possibility of the statistical difference in achievement laid out by the article.

    What? Are young boys so fragile to be the only ones adversely affected by single parent environments? I did not read one example in the comments here upon the negative impact on girls raised in a single parent home. And for those who insist on a two parent home as the cure-all, then look at the very real evidence which proves a same-sex couple in a committed relationship provides as stable an environment as does a heterosexual couple in a committed relationship.

    Perhaps the problem rests in the way we perceive the different genders, but not in the home. As a teacher I know there is a pendulum, and though I do not agree it is any kind of liberal conspiracy, the education community always rides this pendulum to extremes. This approach, that approach, this curriculum, that assessment.

    However, it appears to a lot of people, boys are simply too weak and fall victim to the single parent home.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    Some good comments. My favorite elementary teacher was my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Krusi. Most men can not afford to support a family on a teachers salary. Reality is divorce, and culture are contributing factors. Same sex schools is an idea that time has has come. It is a proven fact girls do better in same sex schools, especially high school. I wonder if the same would be true for males.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 6:54 a.m.

    Al those comments about the politics and nothing about what the church has done in response to feminism. When you change up the doctrine of the patriarchal priesthood to the point where you soft-pedal the ordinances and covenants to appear kinder and gentler, what do you think is going to happen.
    The Brethren know this, giving talks to the young men to go beyond hanging out and start acting like men.
    The church is NOT the antidote here; it's part of the problem.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2012 1:26 a.m.

    'The elephant in the room is that children need parents of both genders to be involved in a positive way in their lives.' - Kathy. - 4:25 p.m. Feb. 18, 2012

    I understand why you are saying this. And I don't want to stop you. But all the information shows...

    a child needs TWO parents. The gender of those parents, affects nothing.

    As exampled by:

    'In most ways, the accumulated research shows, children of same-sex parents are not markedly different from those of heterosexual parents.'

    'Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents' - POLICY STATEMENT - PEDIATRICS Vol. 109 No. 2 February 2002, pp. 339-340 - Pulished: 02/01/10


    So, if boys are falling behind in school, what can we do to combat it?

    1st give boys a stable home. Regardless of the gender of the parents, (Or adopted parents, grandparents, etc) a child needs stability.

    2nd, perhaps parents need to show a bit more concern. Contact the teachers, Parent/teacher night. Etc.

    3rd, for me. The television became the 'baby sitter'. What was ON the television wasn't important. The important thing was that the kids were sitting still.

    Today, kids have computers. They don't need to wait for their 'favorite show' with Netflix. They can be entertained x24/7/365.

    Parents need to shut down distractions and HELP a child with homework. Every night.

    While I don't advocate SHOOTING a childs computer. A parent taking the time to show they care, can change a childs life.

  • Miskky salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 18, 2012 11:49 p.m.

    "What is 'attacking' boys?"

    Well, if one pays close attention to the commercials on tv about 90% demean males in some form or another. That is the war..!!

    Take some time and see in what order commercials make people look bad, stupid and incompetent. White Males first, other males next, minority females and last and least white females.

    You think tv commercials don't affect our society? What is so much money spent on commercials. You think tv doesn't have an effect on society? We have been deluded for decades with bogus studies telling us that tv is not detrimental.

    I think women and our entire society demean males in general and white males in particular. How can boys not be affected by that kind of barrage..!

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    @DN Subscriber
    "Praise of single-parenthood, instead of its condemnation. "

    Fine, we'll tell the pregnant single mother to get an abortion then... did you forget those single mothers chose life? Oh right, right tht's it... you also want them to give up their kid too. So many demands...

    "The insane urge to make little boys play with dolls instead of toy guns, and never do anything the least bit dangerous"

    I played with dolls. Or more specifically I was a nice brother who was willing to play dolls with his younger sister when we were younger so she'd have someone to play with. Ah but you don't have to worry... my toyset was "masculine" enough though it lacked any weaponry beyond one nerf gun and a squirt gun. Maybe that's not "manly" enough for you, but you know what I find? The toys my sister and I played with when we're 10 or 20 (we both love the Final Fantasy game series, or is that not "feminine" enough to you?) don't have an impact on whether or not we're decent people and besides, the two of us combined had a 3.95 out of 4.0 high school GPA.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 11:32 p.m.

    Of course, most of you citing single parenthood as part of the cause for it are simultaneously opposing the expansion of contraception access that is statistically proven to reduce pregnancy rates in nations where it's more easily accessible.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 11:10 p.m.

    How about this heresy -

    Give all parents vouchers which will allow parents, if they so choose, to send their kids to same-sex schools. They boys' school could have a ciriculum based on the style of learning that fits boys and the same at a school for girls which could have a ciriculum based on the style of learning that fits girls.

    We all know that males are visually stimulated, hence 95% of porn is of nude women (and the porn of nude men is bought more by gay men than by straight women). Visual entertainment like video games and PCs are FAR more attractive to males than females. having a visually oriented ciriculum for boys would work better for them than for girls.

    Perhaps in same-sex schools, the kids would focus more on studying rather than trying to show off for and attract members of the opposite sex.

    it may not be PC, but as Glenn beck says, "The truth has no agenda".

  • bored Lindon, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 9:44 p.m.

    I think the majority of comments here are right - I don't think there is a specific war on boys - it's just a symptom of the way our society is working right now. TV and movies, as well as video games, don't help matters. They promote violence and a lack of personal responsibility. Boys (and men) are not cool if they are intelligent and sensitive. Not very much of entertainment out there exhibits any value in family or any sort of moral baseline for kids to follow. Men that are intelligent and/or sensitive are portrayed as either gay or nerdy. The message is: it's not cool to be smart, it's not cool to follow the rules, it's not cool to just be a normal well-adjusted male.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 18, 2012 8:41 p.m.

    Re:Clark Hippo

    Mocking? Belittling?
    I am acutely concerned and aware of the plight of boys in our society, since I have only sons.
    It doesn't appear as if you read my posts, but instead, just respond with a knee-jerk reaction..
    One of my posts was merely rebutting the notion that liberals, liberal policies, are to blame.

    I really don't know that teaching methods are to blame. I think schools are more conducive to allowing children to move around the classroom which suits boys better than when I was in school (decades ago) and nearly all day was spent sitting at desks. That's not to say teaching methods shouldn't be examined. I would be interested to hear from teachers.

    I really do believe the increasing percentage of single parent families is a big factor. My son told me once he knows boys who don't plan on going to college because they can't afford it and because they need to work to help support the family. I think the loss of a father through divorce can have a greater affect on the boys or at least affects them in ways different than daughters.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:49 p.m.

    'Perhaps, like some in our society, you honestly don't care about teenage boys or young adult men and where they're headed in society. Perhpas the numbers displayed in this article give you pleasure.' - ClarkHippo 7:29 p.m. Feb. 18, 2012

    If I didn't care about this country...

    I never would have tried to serve in the US military.

    *'Donât Ask, Donât Tell: Serving in Silence' - By Matthew LaPlante - SL Tribune - Watts Cooking - Reprinted: 07/02/11

    'Pagan said he was questioned repeatedly about the meaning of the conversation and even subjected to a polygraph test.' - article

    While it was busy discriminating against me.

    I never would have gotten my Anthrax shots, or went through basic training in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina.

    'Victory Starts Here.'

    Before you continue you ill-informed rant about failings you are PROJECTING onto other people...


    Or stop complaining.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:45 p.m.

    In fairness, I think it's foolish to suggest that all boys in our society are being kicked to the ground while all girls are being propped up and handed everything on a silver platter.

    The numbers in this article clearly show that boys in our society are being short changed.

    Of course, no one (except radical, far left feminists) are flat out saying things like, "Boys are worthless and we should all prevent them from doing well in school."

    It's a lot more subtle than that.

    It includes TV talk shows that glamorize violent, sexually active men.

    It includes TV shows, movies and video games in which men are often shown as selfish, violent, hurtful and lazy.

    It includes the glamorizing of male athletes who father children with many different women.

    But even beyond this, society in general places more value and looks and money than brains, and that goes for both males and females.

    People like Pagan and Truthseeker will contiue to mock and belittle articles like this. The rest of us can actually do something about it.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:29 p.m.

    For too long we have followed the liberal prescriptions to cure our ills, and only made them worse. Much worse. - DN Subscriber

    Excuse me??

    ** 'Bristol Palin has book deal' - By Hillel Italie - AP - Published by DSnews - 03/01/11

    'Bristol Palin, 20, has become a celebrity in her own right, through her broken relationship with her child's father, Levi Johnston...' - article.

    In case you didn't know...

    Bristol Palin was raised in a 'Abstinence only' family. Her mother is one of the most known conservatives in America...

    Sarah Palin.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:29 p.m.

    @no fit in SG

    Not sure if your comment is intended to be serious or insulting.

    I know there are some who are insulted by the notion that certain religions and communites in this country actually value boys and see them as more them video game playing, dirty magazine looking bafoons.



    I'm sure you're both familiar with the term, "There are lies and then there are statistics."

    Feel free to bury your heads in the sand all you want. Feel free to ignore, scoff at, or ridicule studies like this all you wish. But the fact of the matter is, boys in our country are struggling and falling short in ever greater numbers.

    Perhaps, like some in our society, you honestly don't care about teenage boys or young adult men and where they're headed in society. Perhpas the numbers displayed in this article give you pleasure. I'm sure NOW, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the NEA are all high fiveing each other right now.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:24 p.m.

    "In my 19 years, not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple," said Wahls. "And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero affect on the content of my character." Introducing himself as a "sixth-generation Iowan," Wahls said he had achieved the Boy Scouts' highest rank and attained a 99th percentile on his college aptitude test. "If I was your son, Mr. Chairman, I believe I would make you very proud," he testified.
    Zach Wahls, a 19 yr old engineering student at University of Iowa, addressing the Iowa legislature, Feb. 2011

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:17 p.m.

    It is possible to excite some people about math and math related fields, but that doesn't come about by begging them to go into a particular field.

    It comes about by taking math classes where students are led to the point where they can solve interesting problems.

    This is why most people choose engineering. They love what they are being taught in math and physics in high school and want to continue on.

    So long as math in our secondary schools is dumbed down, interesting problems and a sense of accomplishment will be hard to come by. Many teachers are aware of the damage that has been done to math education. Others reflexively deny there is a problem. This mostly includes administrators in the school districts and professors of math education (not mathematics) in the universities.

    Might I suggest a return to proof based geometry, at the honors level for students who desire it. This way math classes taught subsequently don't have to be taught at a lower level.

    Challenging math is interesting math. Those people who have the capacity to appreciate math, will not do so if they are learning only dumbed down math.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 7:01 p.m.

    Yes, there is a *war* on boys, girls, and all God's children, and the enemy is Satan. He will do anything he can to destroy current and future families.

    Yes, we should help the boys. But how? Do we strengthen the home? Do we encourage fathers and mothers in their roles as parents?

    Or do we bypass the parent and go for direct public, government programs and policies. As much good as some organizations do in their direct support of children, I would submit that more will be accomplished by supporting and encouraging the God-given role of a biological, differently-gendered set of parents. That kind of help would yield more, longer-lasting, and better results.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Feb. 18, 2012 6:54 p.m.

    To "no fit in SG," I am an LDS single father, having raised my two children over most of 20 years. The "LDS brand" was an essential guiding factor in my life - helping me to give my children a sense of value, moral standards, purpose in life, self esteem, personal responsibility, and a basic healthy concept of who they are. This included much-appreciated help from fellow LDS ward members in terms of babysitting my children, interacting with them, and setting positive examples for them. So, is there something wrong with that??

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 6:50 p.m.

    This is a case of affirmative action gone too far. Make programs to bolster one segment of the population and let them run until that segment has passed the others. Then you have to make programs to better the other segments. The cycle goes on and on.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 18, 2012 6:21 p.m.

    Re:DN Subscriber

    Liberal here, parent of 3 boys.
    There is the Conservative media rant from people like, SINGLE-parent Laura Ingraham, Limbaugh and others who blame all the ills of the world on Liberals with sweeping generalizations, which then get repeated in posts such as yours.

    I can't recall single parenthood being praised. Maybe you are confused with the praise heaped upon a single-parent, who overcame tremendous challenges to succeed. Big difference.

    I don't think it was "liberal" policy that has, in some cases created a more permissive parenting style. I think it was a rejection of the shaming, autocratic style many of us grew up with that some parents took too far the other way.

    I dont know of anybody that "made" their little boys play with dolls. My sons and their friends all did the typical boy things; sports, paintball and BB guns included. Also music lessons. Liberals believe every capable adult should get a good education which leads to decent jobs. We also believe in being self-reliant, but also helping those who fall short. Welfare was reformed by Republicans and Clinton in the 90's. Do Republicans have more ideas? Let's hear them.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 5:37 p.m.

    For too long we have followed the liberal prescriptions to cure our ills, and only made them worse. Much worse.

    Destruction of the family is the core problem: Praise of single-parenthood, instead of its condemnation. Emasculation of male roles and play so that no one's feelings are hurt and no winners or losers. The insane urge to make little boys play with dolls instead of toy guns, and never do anything the least bit dangerous. The "feminist" idiotology. Worst is the all encompassing liberal "welfare plantation" which rewards dependency and discourages self reliance and achievement.

    Television has not had a responsible father figure since Bill Cosby. Instead men are portrayed as useless buffoons. Our kids have paid attention, and now we are surprised?

    There need to be consequences for good and bad choices (and applause for daring to judgmentally label them as such!)

    Stay in school, don't have sex until you get married, and don't get married until you are able to support a family. Don't go into debt.

    Simple rules, and with almost universal good results for all who follow them. And, those who don't inevitably end up failing in many ways... and blaming others.

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    Feb. 18, 2012 4:25 p.m.

    All of the studies all over the world show that a child does best with their in tact supportive biological family.

    The fast track to poverty and bad outcomes is single women having children.

    The fast track to abuse is an biologically unrelated male in the home.

    Like it or not the overwhelming evidence is that children that live in a home with a the same gender significant other to their parent have very high rates of all kinds of abuse.

    These studies come from all over the world, even where same gender marriage and the homosexual lifestyle has been accepted for years.

    The elephant in the room is that children need parents of both genders to be involved in a positive way in their lives.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 18, 2012 4:17 p.m.

    "Q: As you know, fewer young men are going to college. Do you think affirmative action is the answer to it?

    A: I think it starts before that. I think we need to examine the way we're teaching children from elementary school. Are we asking boys to sit still when they really want to jump around? Is it because boys have fewer and fewer role models because such a large percentage of elementary teachers are women? I suspect those are the reasons.

    If we can figure out ways to help address the education of boys that is specific to boys not denying girls, of course maybe they will be able to continue through school and be able to get good jobs."
    (Laura Bush 2005)

    The U.S. has a higher percentage of single parent families than many other industrialized countries. It is very difficult to be a parent, let alone a single parent, and meet all the needs of children. I don't think it is much about the sex of the parent as it is about the child having 2 involved, emotionally, physically and financially supportive parents.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    Well said, Demisana. Although I now live in Utah, I was born and raised in California. I saw these problems are a teacher. So sad. I remember one child who was truly brilliant and always in trouble crying because his Daddy wasn't at a program we did. It broke my heart. I come from a divorced family. Fortunately, my mother was able to find a good man to marry me who eventually adopted me after my birth father abandoned me. I'll never forget that day he told me I was smart. I went from getting Cs and Bs to straight As. Children deserve a mother and a father. It makes all the difference. I saw it as a teacher so many times. Let's protect and encourage traditional marriage.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 3:46 p.m.

    What is 'attacking' boys?

    Every decision that results in dads being estranged from their sons. Including single women deciding to have children without a father, mothers deciding to divorce and trumping up fake abuse allegations to keep her annoying ex out of her and her children's lives, courts who overwhelmingly favor mothers over fathers, even when there are no abuse concerns, gay partners who decide to have children and deprive the child of the other gender, people who have children out of wedlock with no concern for the stability of their child's life...

    It's not one thing - the family, and every member of it, are under attack by society, by Hollywood, by government welfare encouraging dependency instead of encouraging people to stand on their own feet (as such people are far more likely to be married and stay married).

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 2:54 p.m.

    'The war on boys: young men losing ground in education, emotional health and jobs' - title

    A 'war' on something typically implies that there is a focused effort, to destroy said thing or person.

    What is 'attacking' boys?

    Answer? Nothing. They are slipping in education and emotional support. But NOT due to any focused effort any one person, or group.

    I realize the Deseret News needs to sell papers but all this 'war' mongering is now becoming an example of fiction.

    Boys are failing in education?

    HELP them!

    But they are not the target of some perceived agenda.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Feb. 18, 2012 2:18 p.m.

    Since this is the DN comment site, and we are in Utah... we already know what many will state as the answer for this young man.......Religion, and the LDS brand.