BOYS WILL BE boys, they say – but why exactly? We ask what makes adolescent boys 11-14 unique and what changes are their bodies – and their minds – going through at this developmental stage? Do boys and girls really learn differently? And what is necessary to help a boy become a good man?
IN-STUDIO GUEST: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to answer these questions is Michael Gurian, co-founder of the Gurian Institute, where he conducts field research, launches pilot programs, and trains professionals in gender diversity and effectiveness. He has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain science into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy and he and his colleagues have developed programs and models for helping schools and parents raise and educate boys and girls.
Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty five books including: The Minds of Boys, The Wonder of Boys, The Purpose of Boys and A Fine Young Man: What Parents, Mentors, and Educators Can Do to Shape Adolescent Boys into Exceptional Men.
He joins us from his office in Washington state.
DID YOU KNOW? For every 100 girls diagnosed with a learning disability 276 boys are diagnosed with a learning disability. For every 100 girls diagnosed with emotional disturbance 324 boys are diagnosed with emotional disturbance. For every 100 females ages 15 to 19 that commit suicide 549 males in the same range kill themselves. See more statistical comparisons at TheBoysProject.com
Rites of Passage - One of the challenges of adolescence is that everything is changing – minds and bodies – and boys and girls are moving from childhood to being “apprentice adults”. In ancient cultures that change was often marked by a rite of passage – a challenge that had to met. Today, more often than not, there’s no particular event to mark the change. Contributor Jessica Cochran spoke with two fathers who think that a rite of passage is an important step for children moving into adolescence to become healthy and functional adults. So they came up with challenges of their own.
Boys Speak Up - We wanted to hear from actual middle school boys about what they had to say for themselves. We asked them what differences they noticed at school between boys and girls of their age - how do they act and how are they perceived? Contributor Robert Stormo visited the boys in the combined seventh-eighth grade class at Pacific Northern Academy in Anchorage to find out.
Books for Boys - Reading advocate Pam Allyn has a whole book full of suggestions when it comes to boys and reading. Allyn is the founder and director of LitWorld – a global organization that advocates for children’s rights as readers and writers; her personal mission is to bring literacy to every child. Jessica Cochran spoke with her about her book - Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys: How To Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives.