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

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Why America's sons are underachieving, and what we can do about it. Something is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

A must read for anyone who is associated with boy's in today's world.

If you have sons, work with other people's sons, want a son someday do yourself a favor and read this book!

Must read for anyone who cares about young males

As the mother of a homeschooled son who also had seven other boys living with us at one time or another I think this is a must read for anyone who cares about young males in society and the harm that has been done to them over the last twenty to thirty years. So many of the other excellent reviews make points I would agree with. Decades ago I read Dr Raymond Moore's books on how young boys learn and how they often are late in learning to read, but that just because they were not early readers doesn't mean they weren't learning valuable lessons in life. Then I remembered my late mother and how she was talking about how many of the boys in her second grade class, were being put on ADD medications and she felt this was unwise, and that what was needed was a return to mid morning, afternoon recess breaks and recess during the lunch time so that boys could be boys and burn off some of the excess energy and have plenty of oxygen in their brains to make learning more fun. And as the author notes young males who aren't getting the physical activity they need pay a big price. And like the author many social scientists have noted the high number of single Mom families where boys are not being exposed to make role models. This is not a slam on single Moms, but is a shout out to males who give up so easily and walk away from their kids. Young males need adult men in their lives who will demonstrate what self discipline is all about and that instant gratification isn't the goal. And yes I agree with the author on the role computer games play in a negative way. But I also believe that in the last twenty to thirty years to many parents have been sucked into the paranoia of child abduction which has resulted in latch key kids who rather than being outside playing and working all the muscles in their body, are instead stuck inside where only a small part of their brain is being used. And yes I think the author is correct when he delves into the whole feminization of education. I have long worried that when women's studies came along that the pendulum and PC academia would result in an even less level field in education. Then one reads book after book by women who bemoan the fact that they are better educated than most men and they cant find a partner to marry who is their equal. As the author notes, medical, law and even veterinary schools now have a majority of females as students. Sometimes these women make up over sixty percent of the students. I also want to add that I think President George W Bush's No Child Left Behind which stressed teaching kids how to take tests rather than real learning, will make and has made the situation with male students even worse.

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!


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.

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.

An absolute MUST-READ for anyone who cares about boys and men

I heard the first mention of this book on NPR and immediately ordered the book. It arrived just the other day and I sat down and read it through in one sitting, after listening to the author's very articulate discussion about the major factors which are contributing to the fact that boys -AND men - are faring worse than ever. The book is the result of many years of detailed study and research, not just some pop psych book hastily written and thrown out there. I'll list some of the major points of the book but first I wanted to note some of the things I've observed, all of which the author covered as well. First, personal experience: As a parent of three, I've seen firsthand the changes in the school system in the last 25 years. Our oldest was allowed to walk about his classroom and his personality and inability to sit still for long periods of time was addressed, without meds (this does NOT mean that I think ADD or attention-deficit disorder does not exist but I DO think that in today's world he might well have been defined as ADD instead of having other options first). He loved school and he thrived and does not have ADD. In fact, as time went on, he settled down and became a rather steady, focused student. As the author of this book has also noticed, there have been some alarming changes in the school system over the years. Kindergarten went from being a "hands-on" place, one that is good for boys, to a place where students were pushed to read, learn by doing worksheets and move away from field trips, exploring the world, meeting people in various professions or just touring a bread factory. This is a MAIN point made by the author, that boys (and all children) need to "know" things by a combination of book learning and real experience. Like the author, I also have seen the alarming rise in video games and obesity. My sons' friends were no longer eager to explore the creek, observe tadpoles or even be outside. They could spend days playing video games and even a suggestion of a walk to a nearby playground would bring groans. Yes, something was changing...for the worse....again, points made by this book (too much time spent at computers and videos). I want to be clear that I am not SlAMMING video games or computers but suggesting that there is an imbalance there, with far too much time given to those activities at the cost of others. Some other points to consider, all of which are covered in detail in this book: 1. An overemphasis on teaching boys to read and learn math earlier than ever, when the average age when the AVERAGE boy's brain is ready to handle this is not at the kindergarten level. 2. The role of video games 3. Over-reliance on ADD meds (far more commonly used for boys than girls). 4. A lack of positive role models for boys, especially in popular culture, tv and other areas. 5. The possible impact of plastics and other toxin on the biochemistry of boys. Here's the BEST part of th
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