Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

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Family physician, research psychologist, and acclaimed author of Why Gender Matters, Leonard Sax reveals the truth about what's driving the decline of American boys--and what parents can do about it.

Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, they are less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. As for young men, it turns out the film Failure to Launch is not far from the truth. Fully one-third of men ages 22-34 are still living at home with their parents--about a 100 percent increase in the past twenty years. Boys nationwide are increasingly dropping out of school; fewer are going to college; and for the first time in American history, women are outnumbering men at undergraduate institutions three to two.

Parents, teachers, and mental health professionals are worried about boys. But until now, no one has come up with good reasons for their decline--and, more important, with workable solutions to reverse this troubling trend. Now, family physician and research psychologist Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on his vast clinical experience to propose an entirely original view of why boys and young men are failing in school and at home. He argues that a combination of social, cultural, and biological factors is creating an environment that is literally toxic to boys, ranging from environmental estrogens to the over-prescription of ADHD drugs. And he presents practical solutions--from new ways of controlling boys' use of video games, to innovative (and workable) education reforms.

Customer Reviews:

  • A "must read" for parents of young boys
    Dr. Sax has written a thorough, yet "accessible", study on some of the key factors influencing young boys as they move into the realm of school and social contact with the new world surrounding them. This volume should be a "must read" for parents of young boys, educators, and those who interact with boys in any of the caring professions. His balance between nature / nurture is handled competently and gives lucid coverage to factors which are easily overlooked in the delivery of basic education and child care. Highly recommended....more info
  • Excellent Resource
    Boys Adrift is a great resource for any parent or teacher looking for a way to help boys become succesful in an academic setting....more info
  • Extremely informative!
    I originally bought this book for my sister who was having difficulty motivating my nephew, an extremely bright young man. She tends to be very skeptical but gave this read a big thumbs up. I'm looking forward to reading it myself and have already seen some positive changes in my nephew. It also helps to know that others share in this same growing phenomenon....more info
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men
    This book is essential for anyone who is a parent,guardian, or teacher to a boy. Dr. Leonard Sax's text is clearly written and full of citations and referrences to real research. It is very helpful to read Dr. Sax's first book "Why Gender Matters" first. ...more info
  • Fascinating read; very relevant
    I heard Sax speak at a local school and was very interested in more details in his book. He presents very relevant, thought provoking, and concerning explanations of problems boys are having in school today. He provides both personal stories from his patients and backup studies from which he has reached his conclusions....more info
  • Critical information for Elementary Teachers
    Fantastic information for teachers everywhere! And, for parents who wonder why their child (male OR female) isn't thriving at school....more info
  • Excellent
    Very well written and easy to follow. Sax gives very persuasive arguments and backs up with sufficient proof the theories of video game addiction and ADHD medication. I learned new reasons for underachieving boys in reading the chapters on the change in elementary school curriculum and plastics.

    I volunteer as a baseball coach, a scout master and a teacher for Sunday school. My sons and the rest of the boys fit perfectly into the age group of elementary and middle school. I know Dr Sax is right because I have examples of achieving and underachieving boys right in front of my face. And I know exactly which ones are addicted to video games and which ones are on medication before the first game of the season. My desire is to help each boy understand his true potential and to not lose sight of these goals. With the wisdom of this book I think I can better understand how best to accomplish this task with my own boys and the others to whom I carry the responsibility. Excellent book, and highly recommended for parents, coaches, teachers and leaders....more info
  • Every parent should read this book
    Every parent of boys should read this book. I have a 2 and 4-yr-old and am glad I read this when I did. It's made me aware of so many issues I think I was ignorant of. Boys have special challenges in todays world and I think Sax did a good job explaining each one in depth and also in offering solutions to each. I've recommended this to every friend I have with boys....more info
  • Fabulous! Well written.
    The book was fabulous! Well written and supported by research, not another opinion book, very logically persuasive. His supported ideas regarding the reasons our young boys are becoming unsuccessful, unmotivated, and underachieved are quite correct! We discussed these matters in book group and were greatly motivated to make changes within our own families which Dr. Sax suggested....more info
  • excellent book, highly recommended read, then pass it around
    What a thoroughly research and convincing book. A very eye opening, compelling read. Get it for yourself then pass it around....more info
  • Amazing...
    This book needs to be read by everyone

    MARRIED - Read it to get a heads up on what your boys may have to face in academics and in his professional life. You will definitely be able to give them an environment to thrive.

    SINGLE MALES- Read it to understand some characteristic about yourself. There are somethings that we do, that we can't explain. There are some things we feel that we could never make sense of, like lack of motivation.

    SINGLE FEMALES- Read it to understand what drives males. This book will help dissolve the myth that the problem is with boys entirely. How does their environment, medication and lack of role models play in their lives.

    This book will really open your eyes to some recent (30 years)problems. Boys aren't any different, but society is VERY different. You would think a book like this dumps on society, but it doesn't. It respects the changes, but analyses some aspects of the old society that we threw away in haste or ignorance. If you pick this book up, pick it up...
    1. With out the preconceived notion that the book is chauvanistic propaganda.
    2. With the understanding that boys and girls are different bologically. Not better, just different. It's o.k. to be different.
    ...more info
  • Don't miss this book.
    Dr. Sax has written another outstanding book, this one revealing to us the tremendous complexities effecting the cognitive and emotional development of boys. In spite of the scope of his research which ranges from the classroom to the lab to the outdoors, and reaches across continents and into our homes, his writing remains clear, concise and approachable to the general reader. Dr. Sax clearly outlines the challenges and roadblocks faced by 21st century boys and gives realistic suggestions for how to best understand, motivate and support boys on their journey to adulthood. This book ought to be on the reading list for anyone raising, teaching or working with boys....more info
  • Boys to Men - how do we help them launch?
    This book had so much useful information, I can't possibly write about it all here. So in three words.....READ THIS BOOK. I mean......everyone. Whether you're a parent, teacher, coach, girlfriend, lunchlady, employer....anyone who knows a boy or man (or even manboy) in their life should check this out. Dr. Sax is not just some fly-by-night, so-called expert - he has been studying this for some time (plus he's a pediatrician) and cites different studies that he has come across that back up his findings. Don't expect to find an easy answer here, but rather 5 factors that may explain why an alarmingly high number of young men are unmotivated and refusing to "grow up" and get a job. The 5 factors are: Changes at School, Video Games, Medications for ADHD, Endocrine Disruptors (not sure how I feel about that one), and the Revenge of the Forsaken Gods. Of course, the first three I read about with GREAT interest since I was an elementary teacher. I especially liked that Dr. Sax was open to other opinions, such as the evolving independent woman. What motivation is there for a man, when a woman doesn't need anyone to take care of her anymore? (I'm sure I'm gonna hear some feedback about this, but bring it on)
    All in all, this is a very engrossing book, filled with some pretty brutal facts (don't you just love oxymorons?) Some of the information you will agree with, and some you won't. I truly hope that school officials out there will at least read about Factor One and do something about the way we teach Kindergarten today!...more info
  • Informative
    Great read, good research.

    It helps that this researcher's views fit mine. :)

    It seems that our society and educational system wants boys to act like good little girls. This book examines that assertion and will help parents understand their boy's behavior....more info
  • Fascinating book
    From the very first page this book is hard to put down. The more I read the more wanted to know. Whether you have children or not , you will enjoy this book. I wish I had read it when I was raising my boy. I could have made my decisions with more confidence....more info
  • A Must-Read For Parents of Boys
    Something strange is going on with boys today. My memories of boyhood revolve around the great outdoors--running through fields with hockey stick guns, climbing trees, playing any and every sport, getting sunburns, heatstroke, ticks, sprained ankles and all the other bumps and bruises guaranteed to come to an active, rambunctious boy. Though today I live in a neighborhood filled with boys, rarely do I see them out and about; rarely do I see them engaging in the activities we'd expect of them. Something has changed. So many boys are inactive and unmotivated.

    The changes go deeper than just the activities of young boys. "Fully one-third of men ages 22-34 are still living at home with their parents--about a 100 percent increase in the past twenty years. Boys nationwide are increasingly dropping out of school; fewer are going to college; and for the first time in American history, women are outnumbering men at undergraduate institutions three to two." This lack of activity or lack of motivation seems to continue through life. Parents, educators and doctors are concerned.

    Leonard Sax is a family physician and a research psychologist who has witnessed this change. He has seen it in a close and personal way through his busy medical practice. In his book Boys Adrift Dr. Sax offers his explanation as to why boys and men are failing in school and at home.

    He narrows in on five factors: changes in educational models; video games; medications for ADHD; endocrine disruptors; and a lack of good role models. Schools, he says, have begun to focus on academics at too early an age, leaving boys hating education from their earliest days. Programs that focus more on fun and less on academics up to age seven or eight would reap educational dividends. Important also is the distinction between learning as merely collecting facts and learning as experience. Regarding video games he believes that boys today are dedicating far too much time to this form of entertainment. As boys play these games they gain false perceptions of power and inadvertently remove themselves from reality until eventually they prefer the world of video games over the real world. ADHD is vastly over-diagnosed and huge numbers of boys are given medications they simply do not need. These medications have been proven to change the way boys develop and do far more than simply calm down hyperactive children. Endocrine disruptors, and especially artificial estrogens found in plastic bottles and other similar products, are delaying boys' development (while accelerating girls' development) and contributing to many associated problems. And finally, boys are suffering from a distinct lack of good and manly role models, both in their homes and in their communities. Each of these five areas receives a chapter-length treatment and in each case the arguments are convincing. Yet the book does not end with only this list of problems, but with the author's attempts to suggest solutions.

    While Dr. Sax does not claim to be a Christian, he shares many things that could easily have their roots in the Bible. For example, in discussing problems with discipline he writes, "Thirty years ago, if a boy cursed his parents and spit at his teacher, the neighbors might say that the boy was a disobedient brat who needed a good spanking. Today, the same behavior from a similar boy might well prompt a trip to the pediatrician or the child psychiatrist. And the doctor is likely to `diagnose' the boy with Conduct Disorder (DSM-IV 312.82) or Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (DSM-IV 313.81). The main criterion for both these `disorders' is disobedient and disrespectful behavior that persists despite parental efforts.' Is there really much of a difference between a neighbor saying `That boy is a disobedient brat,' and a doctor saying `That boy has oppositional-defiant disorder'? I think there is. If another parent whom you trust and respect suggests that your son is a disobedient brat who needs stricter discipline, you just might consider adopting a tougher parenting." In a similar vein, he writes about problems inherent in making behavioral issues into medical issues. "You can see how the assignment of responsibility differs in these two cases. If your son is a disobedient brat, then your son and you (his parents) have to take responsibility. You have to own up to the problem. You will probably have to make some changes. But if your son has a psychiatric diagnosis, that means he has a chemical imbalance in his brain. He-and you-are no more to blame for that imbalance than if your son were diagnosed with childhood leukemia, right? Psychiatrist Jennifer Harris recently pointed out that today, `many clinicians find it easier to tell parents their child has a brain-based disorder than to suggest parenting changes.'"

    While Christian readers may find it a bit difficult to read about Dr. Sax's comparisons between humans and their "primate cousins," this is one of the book's few missteps. It is well-researched and thoroughly convincing. Though some of the five concerns Sax lays out may be more important or urgent than others, and while there are many boys for whom only a few of the five will apply, I believe any parent will benefit from reading this book. The lessons he shares are applicable to children who are in public or Christian schools as much as to children who are homeschooled. Dr. Mohler calls Boys Adrift "essential reading" for parents and I am inclined to agree. If you are a parent blessed with boys or if you are a young man yourself, buy this book and read it. You won't be sorry you did....more info
  • An important statement about growing up male in our society
    The recent recognition of the disparity between the development of boys and girls in American society is long overdue. The fact is, this trend has been developing for the better part of a generation, and it's time that we take action as parents and teachers to correct the problems plaguing our young men.

    Much is made of boys being more aggressive in demanding attention. This is a false notion, because much of the attention that boys receive is in the form of punishment and correction of unacceptable behavior. Girls are receiving different--and qualitatively better--attention and encouragement than boys. The positive attention that boys do receive is less serious and more condescending than that given to girls. Boys have been much maligned for acting the part of the 'mook,' but honestly, in many cases they are merely fitting into a stereotype that their parents and teachers constantly reinforce. These boys aren't encouraged to get serious or given the proper guidance to do so. Rather, they are often labeled as slacker goofballs who are best humored and laughed at when they behave, well, like young boys.

    Girls, by contrast, are treated almost like young adults from a very early age. Even when 13 and 14 year old girls start affecting somewhat laughable poses as young adults (while wearing their Miley Cyrus lip gloss) their parents tend to treat them more seriously than they do their boys. The silly things that girls do and say are given more credence almost by default, to some extent because parents live in fear of alienating their daughters or sending them into a self-imposed solitary confinement in their rooms. Girls' self-esteem is protected and nurtured, while boys are expected to be self-possessed before they even learn what that means.

    At the end of the day, 13 year old boys who express ideas beyond their years are more often patronized than girls who do the same. This is reinforced by parents' perceptions that their daughters really are more mature, and thus are deserving of greater deference. The guidance and attention boys receive may be greater in volume, but it is far inferior to what girls receive in quality. Far too many parents work to quash ambition in their boys unwittingly, by carrying around the false belief that any signs of independent thought in boys are actually signs of filial rebellion.

    Dr. Sax illuminates this trend with insight and concision in Boys Adrift. He even makes a compelling argument about environmental pollution affecting the development of young men. In all, his assertions are based solidly in fact and are devoid of the sensationalism that has tarnished other works on this subject. And most importantly, he makes a clear connection between that solitary 11 year-old playing video games in the family den today and the solitary 24 year-old who will be playing video games in the same family den in the future as an unambitious, derailed young adult. These are very powerful ideas for parents of young boys to consider....more info
  • The Scariest Book I've Ever Read
    Make no mistake about it: This book outlines one of the main ways our society has entered its decay phase: Boys are losing their place in society. It is happening for a huge array of reasons, which are clearly and at reasonable length addressed in the book, including feminization of education, video games, ADHD medication, the breakdown of the family and lack of male role models in boys' lives.

    Boys are falling further behind in school and graduating at lower rates, especially compared to girls. Men of prime working age are leaving the labor force. Employers and trainers find US-born boys lethargic and without any work ethic and frequently look to immigrants to do (even well-paying) traditional male work. Boys are losing their interest in work, in socializing, in sex, in society more broadly.

    The pervasiveness of theses problems is truly frightening. What can we do about it? We can work on a local level by both helping put our kids in the best possible home environment. And we can work in our communities--especially by trying to work with schools or by finding single-sex schools or classrooms--to provide education appropriate to boys' development.

    I'll ask my wife to read it and then ask her what she thinks about our 8 and 12 year old sons' reading it. The only thing more frightening than the overall societal message of the book is its message for my own boys....more info
  • Excellent
    This is an excellent book. It has a lot of helpful information that was pertinent to my situation....more info
  • Best Teen Boy Book Ever Written!!!!!!!!
    This is the best, most sensible book ever written about underachieving teenage boys. It is well written, easy to read, and easy to understand. All the indicators have been right under our noses for years but to see them summed up in print by authority on the subject is both enlightening and empowering. If you have an underachiever please, please read this book!!...more info
  • Author Adrift
    At the time I was reading this book, I had the opportunity to be a chaperone on an eighth and ninth grade field trip for my son's band class. About 75 students, about half boys and half girls, attended this all day field trip for a band convention with middle school students from other area schools. I had just been reading Dr. Sax's idea that boys are smaller and less developed than in the past due to chemicals similar to female hormones in plastics. Dr. Sax says he has actually observed this--that boys are smaller and less developed than they used to be. I hadn't been consciously thinking about this, but as I rode on the bus I started to think how my son had grown in the last several years (he is almost 14) and then how the other kids were growing up. As I looked around the bus, and later the convention, I was struck by difference in the world as described by Dr. Sax and the reality I was seeing around me. Yes, the girls had grown up, but most of the 13, 14, and 15 year old boys I saw were taller, wider in the shoulders, and just bigger all around. They didn't look like little boys (as Dr. Sax says), but rather could be physically described as "young men."

    Dr. Sax includes no statistical information to support his idea that boys are smaller and less developed than before. This is curious because this kind of information is routinely collected and compiled. I looked and quickly found a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, presenting the data on growth patterns from 1962-5 through 2002:
    For the 12 - 17 male age group the statistics show that weight has increased, but height has as well over this 40 year period. So how can boys be getting smaller as Dr. Sax claims?

    Both my personal experience and the national statistics demonstrate that the author is adrift in his own theory and is coming up with the "facts" he needs to explain his theory rather than observing the true facts and coming up with a theory to explain the facts. If this is the case for plastics, how much can we trust about the author's observations on other points?
    ...more info
  • Where is the next chapter
    This book identifies a number of serious issues in our educational systems and culture which make it difficult for boys to grow up motivated and with self discipline. What it does not do is identify concrete steps to help with boys who are already adrift- those who have been raised in this less than perfect environment and are struggling as young adults. While the identification of preventative measures is admirable, the book sorely lacks solid guidance to address the numbers of young men who have been damaged by the issues identified....more info
  • Provocative
    Leonard Sax pronounces modern boys as in a state of shambles, and then sets out to tell us why. He posits intriguing theories, several of which have some empirical support:

    First, schools have shifted to an overemphasis on academics for children as young as five, before many boys in particular are developmentally ready to read and write.

    Second, video games promote a false sense of power while further disengaging boys from the real world.

    Third, ADHD medications are "steamrolling" through American boys, potentially harming young brains and producing negative personality changes.

    And fourth, environmental contaminants - in particular synthetic estrogenics from plastic water bottles - may be delaying and disrupting boys' pubertal development and contributing to ADHD, obesity, and other problems.

    Whenever someone claims to have discovered a "growing epidemic," my alarm bells go off. In this case, Sax is so focused on proving his pet theories that he shamelessly distorts information and misses the larger picture. For example, he makes the alarmist claim that there is "a rise in violent crime" by young men. To those who don't know better, this might sound plausible. But Sax is citing a one-year spike (2006) in an otherwise-dramatic DROP in violent crime and juvenile crime in recent decades (per official U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics). As another example, he defends football culture by pointing out that the school shooters were not football players. That's a classic straw-man argument. While the shooters themselves were not football players, many of the school shooters were targeted and victimized by the dominant jocks on their school campuses (see the Secret Service study and the book Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings, which I review). School shootings are typically committed by alienated and disenfranchised young men, whereas football culture has been linked to other forms of primarily group violence, including hazings, gay-bashings, and group rape. I was able to catch these distortions because those two topics happen to be within my areas of professional expertise. When I see that type of inaccurate and alarmist approach, I suspect that other information is also being distorted.

    Overall, Sax places a lot of blame on individual young men (calling them lazy and parasitic) without adequately addressing changes in society that have contributed to their problems.

    He also generalizes from his experiences with a mainly upper-class and white population. He discounts and ignores racial oppression (for example condemning music stars Akon and 50 Cent with same brush as "convicted felons") and the vast digital divide separating those who use computers (and play video games) from those who do not. He sings the same old lament about a supposed lack of positive male role models, despite scant research evidence that this is a major factor in the problems of modern American boys. (See Pollack's Real Boys : Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood and Garbarino's Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them for deeper analyses of these topics.)

    In summary, although Sax makes some interesting points about the problems faced by boys in contemporary American culture, his alarmist rhetoric, distortions, and broad-brush generalizations detract from his credibility.
    ...more info
  • Alarming and Reassuring at the same time....
    My youngest son is 22 and a senior in college. He called me the other day and said he had read a book and it changed his life. He told me that I had to go out and buy this book - "today!". I did and after reading it, I find that I am alarmed and at the same time reassured. My youngest son, in particular, is very much in the catagory of adrift and unmotivated. Now I know why. Now he knows why. He is incredibly reassured that he is normal, that he is not alone, and that there are steps he can take to "fix" his world. The first thing he is doing is unplugging his video devices; PC, Wii, xbox, nintendos, even his TV. He visited with his college advisor to get back on track with his physics major. Yes, he is very smart. But he is derailed in many ways for all the reasons laid out well in this remarkable book. I can tell you that you should, you must and you would be remiss if you have a male child and do not buy, read and digest this information. It will change your family and the way you do things. My husband is a director on the local school board and we intend to make some noise in our local school district because this is too huge of a problem across our country and in our schools to ignore. Thank you to Dr. Sax for his insightful, well researched and extremely helpful, motivating book. My son is a better person for knowing why he is the way he is and now has the tools to make himself over - better. I intend to help him get there. READ THIS BOOK! ...more info
  • Great Book!
    Started reading and could not put this book down. Very well written. This book changed how I look at the environment of my children forever....more info
  • Understand in order to help
    We have two grandsons, ages 10 and 11. They spend a full day with us every weekend (Saturday noon to Sunday afternoon). We have a great relationship, and I want to have a positive effect on them. This book has helped me identify and understand some of the factors that are having a negative impact on them and has helped me be more focused as I interact with them. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Confirms common sense
    I remember begging my parents for an Atari game system and their instinct was that video games would rot my brain. That was Pac-Man and Frogger. Now that I'm a dad I worry about the affect of games on my boy as I see teens & 20-somethings wasting away in front of video games. The Author does a fine job of putting science to what most of us instinctively fear about video games, over-prescribed drugs and other harms for boys. ...more info
  • A call to parents, doctors, teachers, coaches
    In "Boys Adrift", Leonard Sax investigates why boys across all socio-economic groups lack motivation and passion for real life activity. He says "they disdain school because they disdain everything." And "even more disturbing is the fact that so many of these boys seem to regard their laid back, couldn't-care-less attitude as being somehow quintessentially male". Sax puts forth five factors creating an epidemic of apathy and under-achievement.

    His first factor is a change in the education paradigm that pushes first grade rigor into kindergarten and then continues to promote Wissenschaft, or book learning, over - and sometimes to the exclusion of - Kenntnis, or learning by experience. Schools have also reduced or eliminated competition, which many boys thrive on and develop their self-esteem. Sax challenges us to reverse these trends.

    The second factor is an addiction of video games that promotes anti-social behavior and supposedly affects the brain similarly to ADHD meds. Video games provide a feeling of power and achievement without any of the effort required in real-life. "Playing games is easy. Studying is hard." We as parents are to blame for this. Sax recommends limiting games to 40 minutes per day, competitive sports, and prioritizing family, friends and real-world activities over video game play.

    The third factor is the routine diagnosis of ADHD and ensuing medications that affect motivation long-term. For doctors and insurers, meds are cheaper than a formal and thorough assessment. And "some parents just don't want to hear that the reason their child is getting B's and C's is because he's just not that smart. They would rather hear that their child has ADHD and needs medication..." and it's easier to think your child has an "oppositional-defiant disorder" rather than he is a "disobedient brat". Sax recommends we challenge the diagnosis and diligently evaluate the cost-benefit of medications.

    Sax cites as the fourth factor chemicals endocrine disrupters in plastics that emasculate the male, delay puberty, and foster obesity. Plastics are the biggest culprit here and he advises the use of glass containers. Apparently Sax originally thought this factor far-fetched but after research and investigation has become convinced.

    Finally, the fifth factor is how society's minimization of masculinity and the passage to manhood has profoundly and negatively influenced the psyche of the young male. By eliminating the traditional rituals of manhood, "have we violated something which the ancients knew intuitively but which we have arrogantly ignored?" And if we do not expose our boys to positive male role models, they will look towards the media or their peers for their inspiration and guidance. The respected fathers and self-sacrificing male leaders of yester-year have been replaced with Homer Simpson and misogynistic, hedonistic pop icons.

    Sax's presentation is very effective, and it is very readable at 220 pages. He parades by the reader a litany of case studies, either evidenced through his own experiences as a physician and psychologist or through emails or conversations with parents. He makes frequent references to his book "Why Gender Matters" and studies from various other authors. "Boys Adrift" is a call to fathers, mothers, teachers, coaches, and leaders, reminding us that our sons, students, and players desperately need our attention, consideration, guidance and protection.
    ...more info
  • Completely New Ideas
    The idea that boys are in trouble was a completely new idea to me. I have always heard about girls needing help with self-esteem and acedemics (like science & math). But boys in trouble . . . nope, never heard of it. My sister recommended this book because I have a young son and it was an EYE OPENER!

    MUST READ - for partents of boys and girls. Very, very easy read and it will change how you look at our children and gender forever....more info
    If you are the parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, friend of a young man, this book is a MUST READ! I am the parent of two young boys as well as an educator and have found this resource to be invaluable. This is easy to read yet based on solid research. This is a MUST HAVE resource!!!...more info
  • Autor Adrift
    THe author is right about the "new" phenomenon with boys in this country. He shows a convincing number of studies that point to a crisis for the new generation of male children. However he got five factors that according to him are the cause of this problem. Nobody can argue that new rules at public schools are punishing boys, specially active, creative individuals who have problems conforming to rigid rules. The influence of video games is another situation that certanly is changing active personas into passive objects. But the charge against prescription drugs is a mistake. It's true that there is a tendency to over medicate unrully children and to try to control them with drugs. However this is an effect of the other factors and not a cause. The charge against endocrin disrupors is interesting but it doesn't explain why it affects mainly boys and not girls as well as adults.
    I think Boys Adrift is good step in rising the awarnes of a social problem but it fails short in touching other factors that are behind the crisis in a segment of our population. The problem with young males is being created by a society that is oriented to maximize profits at any cost even if that includes the promotion of antisocial music, games, movies, drinks and other products that affect mainly the weakes sector of our society. Dr. Sax expound important facts about this assault to our society but in my opinion falls short to see what's behind the problem. Unfortunately what's behind is even more problematic because to fix this problem requires more than an educational reform and responsable paretns spying their children. ...more info
  • Enlightening
    I'm so glad I bought this book after I heard Dr. Sax speak on NPR. He touched on a subject that I've been wondering about for years, mainly why some children are more motivated than others. Is it nature or nurture? (he blames the child's environment) After reading his thoughts, I agree with him. He has some excellent points. (He cites five main reasons). I can't speak for others, but I can personally relate to his examples. I just wish he had more solutions. And I still wonder if some boys are just born that way....more info
  • EVERYONE should read this book!
    One doesn't need to have or work with children to benefit from the clearly written and easy-to-read information in Boys Adrift. As a mental health therapist and parent and grandparent of lots of boys, I am on one hand excited by Dr. Sax's work and yet incredibly sad that I didn't have this valuable information when I was raising my boys. Dr. Sax educates the reader on the biology of our precious little boys...the ones who frustrate us, exhaust us, but smell deliciously of sweat, dirt, and sunshine...then he explains how biological and societal influences combine to cause our boys to fall behind, to act out, and to opt out. Whew...Frankly this book knocked me for a loop and changed the way I view a lot of things that concern gender differnces. Conclusion? Gender DOES matter. (Read Dr. Sax's Why Gender Matters as well.)...more info
  • An essential read for parents of boys!
    As a female and an only child, I don't have a great deal of experience decoding the minds of young boys. But, as a homeschooling mom of 2 darling sons, I eagerly read anything that promises to be helpful in this regard. And although my husband remembers his boyhood exceptionally well, raising boys is a very different proposition than it was a mere 35 years ago.

    Dr. Sax (an MD and a PsyD) has written a book that is a fast and easy, but very informative read. I learned a tremendous amount about the obstacles that can stand in the way of today's boy becoming tomorrow's bealthy, content, mature, capable, independent man. Truly fascinating.

    I would have given this book 5 stars, but for the rather weak last chapter that attempts to assign solutions to the problems it presents. The gift of this book, however, is in its thorough discussion of the problems. That part alone is truly a gem among books of this nature.

    Dr. Sax's book gives parents a chance to gain a complete understanding of the issues. With a little independent research and healthy dose of common sense, most parents could easily figure out how to manage these issues themselves....more info
  • Incredibly Informative!
    Great book! I could not put it down. I have eight grandchildren, six of which are boys and I have been trying to put my finger on the pulse for quite some time; trying to figure out why are so many of our young African American males unmotivated nowadays. Dr Sax introduces some surprising possibilities. I would recommend this book to anyone who has sons under the age of 30. I bought extras and gave them as gifts....more info
  • Examining the Problem of Unmotivated Boys to Men
    'The children now live in luxury and love chatter instead of exercise.' Sound familiar? Describes youth today? The quote is from Socrates! It serves as an excellent springboard for this lively discussion by Leonard Sax BOYS ADRIFT: THE FIVE FACTORS DRIVING THE GROWING EPIDEMIC OF UNMOTIVATED BOYS AND UNDERACHIEVING YOUNG MEN, a book that may be directed to health care workers, but one that deserves attention from the general public.

    The five factors Sax entertains are 1) feminization of education; 2) video games; 3) increased prescription of psychotropic drugs that affect the motivational systems of the brain; 4) exposure to endocrine disrupters; and 5) lack of heroic role models. The factors are quite straightforward and Sax succeeds in carefully explaining his research and opinions in terms easily understandable. While many parents bemoan the current trend of video game couch potato children and the falling away of physical education requirements in our schools agendas, few are activists in encouraging change: part of the problem, Sax discusses, is the passivity of parents who are themselves acting on the personal permutations of this 'too fast, too technological' lifestyle imposed on them by the cancer described here.

    Sax strongly objects to the growing importance of pugilistic video games for boys that serve as secondary means of learning how to deal with anger and aggression. He presents details outlining the non-competitive environment of our classrooms where every student is encouraged to meet the 'average' (read 'not-so-golden mean') rather than being encouraged to be creative and experimental. Drivers are in place for testing practice, yet very little creative writing or individual attention to personality traits in need of recognition to produce a group of boys to men who actually become 'community' on the local and global sense. The passive parent is also put on the stand for the current and growing status of 'failure to launch' - or not leaving the home to take the risks and rewards of self-discipline and motivation.

    Sax writing style is comfortable and immensely readable. This is a fine book for parents to read and then to share with the subjects of the book - boys adrift in an impersonal world. Recommended. Grady Harp, December 07...more info
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men
    Not very informative - written by a source that should have offered more helpful info - I'm dissapointed!...more info


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