Boys to Men

The science of masculinity and manhood

To Boys and Young Men in School: "You're Not Welcome"

Evidence is clear that too many boys do not feel "at home" in school.

The atmosphere at elementary school for most boys is not welcoming. Numerous studies have been published that discuss (1) materials, (2) methods, and (3) co-curricular activities that during the past few decades have been gradually geared to the learning styles and play preferences of girls. On college campuses, where boys now choose not to appear at a noticeable rate of decline since 1980, many young males are also feeling unwelcome. Apart from sports, young men are less and less engaged in co-curricular activities. Required freshman seminars on date rape stun most young males, who even before the first classes have begun have been told they should be expected to behave badly. This has simply never occurred to most young men. Courses outside of the hard sciences have in many college and university humanities departments abandoned the "canon" on the assumption that the classics are all the product of (dead) white males. Some students report hearing generalizations about "all men" that are as inappropriate as any generalizations one might hear about "all women." In some courses, faculty may voice ideological commitments that override the concern academics should have for content (history, theory, evidence).

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Miles Groth, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Wagner College.

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