Boys are at risk
“If boys do not understand and value themselves and their human potential, and make enduring connections with positive adult male mentors and role models within their primary spheres of influence (family, school), they will seek connection elsewhere. Elsewhere can be dangerous, damaging, devastating.” – Walter Mustapich, BCN President and co-founder
As educators, parents, and mentors of boys, we must understand their changing landscape, recognize their challenges, and find ways to help them thrive. Consider the facts:
- In order to thrive, boys need positive adult male mentors and role models to validate their experiences as young males
- Boys are 4x more likely than girls, to commit suicide
- Boys are 5x more likely than girls, to drop out of school
- Boys are 18x more likely than girls, to be victims of major crime
- Boys are 2x more likely than girls, to be diagnosed learning disabled
- Boys are awarded the minority of secondary scholarships (30/40%)
- Boys are rarely nominated valedictorian in BC Secondary Schools
- Boys rarely participate in school leadership, student government, service clubs
- Boys represent 40% of post-secondary enrollment
- Boys living in single-parent homes generally, have no in-home male mentor
- Boys in BC public schools have few positive male mentors/role models – 90% of new teachers (first five years) are female, and the aging-out teacher population is only 25% male
- Boys as a rule don’t talk. They hesitate to ask for help or talk about their problems, particularly when they have no positive male mentors in their lives
- Boys learn differently than girls, their brains are wired differently,
- Disconnected boys, as a rule, seek advice and direction from friends, social media, celebrity influencers. They do not search online for help or resources.
These facts create a foundation for potential disconnection – particularly for boys who do not have immediate access to positive male role models/mentors at-home and/or at school. Providing ongoing access to positive adult male role models over a period of years, and exposing boys to Hope, Opportunity, Positive mentorship and Education, can re-write a boy’s story. An old-fashioned idea based on ancient wisdom. Wisdom that works.
Knowledge is Power. Understanding the differences between boys and girls can only help us understand how to communicate effectively. School counsellors are a good resource (opinions are not our own; links provided only for reference and consideration)
The Boy Crisis: A Sobering look at the State of our Boys | Warren Farrell Ph.D. | TEDxMarin VIDEO
What is causing a worldwide Boy Crisis and how do we resolve it. A sobering look at the current state of Boys in our society and what we must understand before we can help them. Dr. Warren Farrell is an American educator, activist and author of seven books on men’s and women’s issues., including the international bestsellers, Why Men Are the Way they Are, plus The Myth of Male Power. He is the only man in the U.S. to be elected three times to the Board of the National Organization for Women in NYC. and he is Chair of the Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men. Warren is currently co-authoring with John Gray the forthcoming The Boy Crisis.
Boys Adrift: The Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Underachieving Young Men | Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D. BOOK
Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. The gender gap in college attendance and graduation rates has widened dramatically. Now, Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents practical solutions, sharing strategies which educators have found effective in re-engaging these boys at school, as well as handy tips for parents about everything from homework, to videogames, to medication.
What about girls?
Many of our most vocal advocates and popular mentors are women. At a recent Canadian symposium at which BCN presented, attended by educational leaders from all districts and strata, a Simon Fraser University professor took the microphone and shared relevant highlights from her experiences over 30 years studying adolescent girls. She concluded with an ask and recommendation to BCN that, when an individual or organization asks what the Network is doing for girls, the answer must be ‘the Boys Club Network’.
To learn more about mentorship and leadership programs for girls Google ‘programs for girls in (enter name of school district or community)’, or speak with school administrators.
What’s in a name? The boys named the club themselves, a dozen years ago, in keeping with the cultural of after-school clubs operating at the time – Aboriginal Club, Girls Club, Drama Club, Math Club. We added the word Network to the name, as a descriptor of our core philosophy and tenets when we registered as a Canadian foundation in 2013.