Are Boys Losing Interest in Academics?

Good morning everyone! Thank you for the great discussion regarding my last post. Today’s post will be short, but hopefully, thought provoking. Recent research seems to point to boys losing interest in academics. Here are the highlights of an article titled “Lost Boys” by Jamie Chamberlin (2008). What are your thoughts?

  • “Research shows that boys tend to lag a year and a half behind girls in reading and writing.”
  • “According to National Center for Education Statistics data, for example, for every 100 women who earn bachelor’s degrees, only 73 men earn one.”
  • She noticed a particularly worrisome trend among teenage boys who had sisters. “We got this common scenario of the ‘smart sister’ and the ‘slacker boy.'”

Kleinfeld attributes this to multiple factors, such as

  • “a dearth of positive role models for boys”
  • “schools poorly adapted to boys’ energy and interests. ‘Schools have become very girl-friendly,’”
  • “teachers failing to hook boys on reading and writing early on. Female teachers–still the majority–tend to assign books they loved as children, such as ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ rather than the adventure novels boys favor.”
  • “teachers also favor girls because, as research has shown, they tend to follow school rules better than boys do.”
  • “Most schools also don’t emphasize enough the active play that research shows is key to boys’ development in particular.  … In fact, many discourage it, frequently punishing boys for what was once considered “rough and tumble” play, which research shows has a key role in the development of boys’ motor and social interaction skills.”

Suggestions for improvement

  • Male mentors.
  • “Bonding activities–two favorites are constructing marshmallow launchers and group dodge ball–because the boys open up when they are happily active.” “Boys will talk your ear off when they are doing something, and they will be as quiet as a mouse when they are required to just sit and talk.”
  • “parents can help steer their boys down the right path by simply reading with them every night and spending time with them–dads especially”
  • Work with universities so “teachers are better trained to help boys from the start.”

Reference: Chamberlin, J. (2008). Lost boys. Monitor on Psychology. Retrieved from

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3 Responses to Are Boys Losing Interest in Academics?

  1. Adelien says:

    Great information for me a mother of three sons. Need to check the book. I like reading all things about boys. I don’t have any brother to get to know about young boys, so I like to collect information about raising boys. Thanks for sharing


  2. Zan says:

    Hello there, I liked your page on facebook.


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