Saving Our Sons is a timely and courageous book, and I am proud to have contributed my small share to the editorial process.
While some may bristle at Dr. Gurian’s assertion that boys in the U.S. and abroad are falling behind girls in many measures of health and well-being, numerous studies and statistics support this observation. In 2015, the World Health Organization published a major study of male health worldwide in which the study’s authors conclude that: “In most parts of the world, health outcomes among boys and men continue to be substantially worse than among girls and women. Yet this gender-based disparity in health has received little national, regional or global acknowledgement or attention from health policy-makers or health-care providers.”
Some of the statistics Dr. Gurian cites about American boys are truly shocking. Boys are twice as likely as girls to be labeled “emotionally disturbed” and twice as likely to be diagnosed with a behavioral or learning disorder. Boys are four times as likely as girls to be suspended or expelled from early childhood and K – 12 learning environments. In school, boys receive two-thirds of the Ds and Fs, and less than 40 percent of the As. While much has been made of the STEM gap, few are aware that boys are much farther behind girls in literary skills than girls are behind boys in math and science. Tragically, males between the ages of 15 and 24 are four times more likely to commit suicide than young women.
In Saving Our Sons, Dr. Gurian explores the major factors undermining healthy development of boys and provides a detailed blueprint for how to remedy these challenges. Along the way, Dr. Gurian implores readers to consider the health of boys through the perspectives of science and common sense rather than the ideological and politicized gender paradigm that has often dominated such discussions in recent years.
We are reminded that boys and girls are simply different. They always have been and they always will be. Rather than viewing these differences as divisive, Dr. Gurian encourages us to celebrate the uniqueness of each gender (including transgender) and to lobby our public institutions to implement policies that will honor those differences in ways that are more effective and fulfilling than a status quo that is clearly inadequate.
Dr. Gurian has added another book to a legacy of important work in the field of childhood development. His latest release will surprise and enlighten readers from across the political spectrum, while arming them with insights from the frontiers of neuroscience and epigenetics. Few things are as important as understanding the nature of our children, and it is lucky for us that someone as informed as Dr. Gurian continues to educate his readers about the unprecedented challenges boys are facing today.