Yesterday, I began to address the specific struggles young males have in Generation Y. I suggested there are at least seven reasons boys struggle. Here is part two of the list:
4. The Media: Television, Movies and Music
TV dilemmas are resolved in thirty minutes. The Internet can be manipulated at will. Students can log off Facebook — and visit Second Life. “American Idol” beckons them to become rich and famous overnight. If they’re bored, they can just turn it off. This has created a disparity between the real world they live in and the virtual world they enjoy for hours each day. These factors can remove a boy’s hunger to grow, stretch and learn. They can leave them passive rather than participants.
5. Endocrine disruptors
Chemicals from plastic bottles, canned food linings and some shampoos mimic natural estrogen, the female hormone. One of the most prevalent chemicals is BPA. 90% of Americans have BPA in their bodies. This has impacted the hormone balance in kids today, especially males. Boys’ testosterone levels are half of what they were in their grandparents’ day. Another effect of these disruptors is that boy’s bones are significantly more brittle today.
6. Teaching Methods
My concern is that school is preparing them for more school, not for life. Because of the pressure teachers feel from the state — lesson plans are reduced to producing higher grades instead of better people. It seems to me that boys learn to hate school by the second grade. Further, girls develop intellectually up to two years ahead of boys. Boys in grade school are naturally energetic. They need ways to express their native energy. They are not ready to learn in the manner girls do so early. Most teachers prefer compliant, dutiful girls.
7. Affluence and Social Liberation (over the last 15 years)
Perhaps this one may change. Parents invite their college grads to return home, rather than help them out of the nest. 60% of graduates return home after college. We postpone maturity. We expand adolescence. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one third of young men, ages 22-34 still live at home. This represents a 100% increase over the last 20 years.
Talk to me. What are you doing to equip guys? Do you see any of these challenges?