Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Urgent Fight for Our Boys' Brains

from the introduction to Swagger [Copyright 2012], by Lisa Bloom

  • Many American schools are subpar
  • Kids graduate without knowing the basics of U.S. history or the rudiments of science.
  • The school week down to only four days to save money in over 100 U.S. counties
  • Only one in three Baltimore kids graduates from high school
  • One in five American high school seniors graduates illiterate
  • Boys underperform compared to girls in every grade and subject
  • Nationwide the majority of our African American and Hispanic boys drop out of high school
  • The young adult male jobless rate hovers at 18 percent
  • One hundred million Americans are now poor or near poor
  • Traditionally "male" jobs? They are mostly gone, and they are not coming back
  • Millions of American manufacturing jobs were siphoned off to China, India, and elsewhere. Those jobs are now extinct in America
  • Popular culture—the third soul-leeching, invisible force—seduces our boys with flashy, loud messages that manhood equals macho bravado, emotional numbness, ignorance, and thugdom
  • Our prison population has skyrocketed to its highest level in US history, more than any other country on earth now or in human history
  • In the United States, one man out of eighteen is incarcerated or on probation or parole
  • Sons are falling behind in school; addiction to video games; inability to communicate socially; music, TV, and films that encourage boys to become macho jerks; how hard it was for them to get their son to pick up a book
  • Boys demonstrate a stunningly low reading proficiency
  • Grand Theft Auto is overwhelmingly played by boys (and depicts for them a manhood defined by fighting, guns and violence)


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