First, we need to understand that boys and girls of all societies begin very equal in ability, “not by genetics or effort”, but - are treated very differently from infancy onward in different groups by gender in those groups according to beliefs regarding either need to be strong or protected. For boys, the belief boys should be strong allows more aggressive treatment as early as one year of age that increases as they age. This is what is creating the problem for boys. It begins in infancy to make boys tough. The lower the socioeconomic environment and time in that environment, the more reliance upon this belief to make boys tough and more aggressive less supportive treatment used. This same belief is also affecting all Males of all socioeconomic areas, but is diminished with more stability, knowledge, and skills in those areas. They are also falling behind their female peers, just not at the same rate. The belief boys should be strong creates so many bad things for males.
The belief Males should be strong allows more aggressive treatment of Males as early as one year, designed to create more layers of agitation, fear, and tension, so they will be prepared to fight, defend, and be tough. This is coupled with much “less” kind, stable, (very little verbal interaction) and less mental/emotional/social support, knowledge, and skills for fear of coddling. It is this more aggressive treatment that creates the toughness or maintained, higher average layers of – anger, fear, anxiety, preparation for defense, etc. This remains in the mind as higher average stress that take away from real mental energy needed for academics. This increases over time and continued by society from peers, teachers and others in society. This creates more social/emotional distance/distrust of others -parents and other authority figures who have knowledge; lags in communication, lower social vocabulary, poor sentence structure; also higher average stress: more layers of mental agitated conflicts and fears taking away real mental energy that hurt learning and motivation to learn; also more activity due to need for stress relief; more defensiveness and wariness of others further hindering emotional and social growth; and higher muscle tension (creating more pressure on the pencil and tighter grip) that hurts writing and motivation to write. It creates much lag in development creating a learned sense of helplessness in school. This differential treatment continues through adulthood, almost fixing many Males onto roads of failure and escape into more short-term areas of enjoyment. Also society gives Males love and honor (essential needs for self-worth) only on condition of some achievement or status. This was designed to keep Male esteem and feelings of self-worth low to keep them striving and even give their lives in time of war for small measures of love and honor. Males not achieving in school or other are given more ridicule and discipline to make them try harder. Support is not an option for fear of coddling. Many Males thus falling behind in academics then turn their attention toward video games and sports to receive small measures of love and honor not received in the classroom. The belief boys should be strong and the false belief in genetics that denies any connection with differential treatment and the lower academics, lower esteem, and other problems removing all good sense when it comes to raising boys today. I feel there is an almost emotional cannibalism allowed upon Males, even young Males who appear weak, all to make them tough.
Since we as girls by differential treatment are given much more positive, continual, mental, emotional/social support verbal interaction and care from an early age onward this creates quite the opposite outcome for girls compared with boys. We enjoy much more continuous care and support from infancy through adulthood and receive love and honor simply for being girls. This creates all of the good things: lower average stress for more ease of learning. We do enjoy much freedom of expression from much protection that makes us look less stable at times; we enjoy lower muscle tension for better handwriting/motivation; higher social vocabulary; lower average stress for reading/motivation; much more positive, trust/communication with adults, teachers, peers; and much more support for perceived weaknesses. We are reaping a bonanza in the information age. The lower the socioeconomic bracket and time in that bracket the more amplified the differential treatment from a young age and increased and more differentiated over time. Now with girls and women taking over many areas of society, we are enjoying even more lavishing of love and honor, while boys and men still treated to be tough are failing more and are being given even more ridicule and abuse by society and yes, also by girls and women. My learning theory and article on the Male Crisis will go to all on request or can be read from my home site. Ask for it.
my learning theory and its cognitive tools will help students learn to understand how to approach their lives more delicately to continually improve and change their abilities from where they are presently in life. We also need to begin teaching parents and teachers it is not genetics and effort but our average stress that is creating many harmful outcomes for persons, mostly boys.