The Art of Manliness Podcast: Boys/Girls Adrift with Dr. Leonard Sax

9/10 Microphones, Listen to the Podcast

Dr. Sax’s Books: Boy’s Adrift, Girls on the Edge; Dr. Sax’s Website@unfragilekids

  • Political consensus that gender doesn’t matter is not correct
  • Our schools are not driven by data, but politics and ideology
  • There are better strategies when you acknowledge differences rather than pretending they don’t exist
  • Differences are genetically driven and seen across species (including monkeys)
    • Testosterone is not a driver, no difference in levels in 5 year old boys vs. girls
  • The lack of awareness of gender differences has the unintended consequence of reinforcing gender stereotypes
    • AP Art History mostly taken by girls in the US
    • AP Computer Science only 19% from 34% in 1987
  • Ask children all over the world to draw something with crayons and you get:
    • Girls: People, pets, Flowers, trees,
    • Boys: Scenes of action such as monster eating alien or rocket smashing a planet
      • People are more like stick-figures
      • Boys use fewer colors
    • Kids are equally good at figuring out what grownups like, so it you push boys to pick less violent images they will stop drawing altogether
  • Boys Adrift:
    • Boys have always written about violent ideas but today they are chastised for it
    • A boy suspended from school from writing a story that was perceived as too violent, but historically and technically accurate and required he be evaluated by a psychologist before returning
      • Leonard wrote a similar story when he was growing up and won a creative writing award
      • Result is the boys think writing/drawing is for girls
    • Zero tolerance policies for violence are terrible (boys have been suspended for bringing in GI Joe’s with toy guns)
      • Not effective, not in any way diminish actual violence
      • Sends message to boys are not welcome
      • Boys tend to disengage from education across all ages, races, wealth as a result
    • Motivational differences occur between Boys and Girls and how to engage with them
    • Single Sex Classes: Could be very useful as you can engage correctly with each gender
      • However, impossible now in the US due to politics/ideology
      • ACLU attorney appointed by Obama determined by herself (no info/experts) to shut down all programs
    • American boys now believe that girls are smarter than boys, this used to be the opposite
      • Hermione Granger Syndrome: More common these days where girls wave hands and boys sit on them
      • Girls greatly outnumber boys on honor rolls and, but they still are underrepresented in physics and comp science
        • The solution is to teach this to girls is not just making things pink, but you do need to do it very differently
      • ADHD medication:
        • 1% of kids in 1979 up to 20% of boys in 2013 (CDC)
          • A boy is US is 14X more likely to be treated for ADHD than in the UK
        • Children are 40x more likely to be treated for bipolar disorder in the US
        • We tend to pick medication as a first and not last resort in the US
        • Tons of pressure on parents if children are not high performing to have them evaluated for ADHD
          • Parents must be a child’s advocate and it is your responsibility to question a certified psychologist who prescribes drugs
          • Peterman, Dir. Of Pediatrician Psych at Harvard pushes for meds, but didn’t disclose $millions from pharma companies = conflict of interest and paid spokesman (now needs to be reported via Sunshine Act)
        • Negative effects of ADHD meds: Stimulants/amphetamines such as Adderall, Ritalin, etc. have been shown to damage motivational center of the brain / no drive
        • Endocrine Disrupters: Plastic bottles when shipped can get very warm to 120+ degrees and chemicals can leak into the water and mimic estrogen resulting in:
          • Boys: Drop testosterone levels which can hurt their motivation
            • 1/3 college age men report difficulty achieving an erection
            • More and more men prefer pornography over women
          • Girls: Accelerate process of puberty (>50% begun by 10 years, no change in boys)
          • What to do: Don’t cook anything in plastic, buy anything shipped/stored in non-cooled in plastic, many shampoos/lotions (manufacturers not required to disclose these)
        • Sexualization of Girlhood (e.g. Sexy Halloween which is sold at Walmart)
          • Dislocates your frame of reference, sexuality becomes a performance you put on for boys = explosion of girls who ID as lesbian/bisexual (1-2% 50 years ago, 15-24% today – 10x)
            • Boys haven’t changed over 50 years as 3-4%

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