School Has Become Too Hostile to Boys

And efforts to re-engineer the young-male imagination are doomed to fail

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As school begins in the coming weeks, parents of boys should ask themselves a question: Is my son really welcome? A flurry of incidents last spring suggests that the answer is no. In May, Christopher Marshall, age 7, was suspended from his Virginia school for picking up a pencil and using it to “shoot” a “bad guy” — his friend, who was also suspended. A few months earlier, Josh Welch, also 7, was sent home from his Maryland school for nibbling off the corners of a strawberry Pop-Tart to shape it into a gun. At about the same time, Colorado’s Alex Evans, age 7, was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade at “bad guys” in order to “save the world.”

In all these cases, school officials found the children to be in violation of the school’s zero-tolerance policies for firearms, which is clearly a ludicrous application of the rule. But common sense isn’t the only thing at stake here. In the name of zero tolerance, our schools are becoming hostile environments for young boys.

(MORE: Your First-Grader Is Going to Be a High School Dropout)

Girls occasionally run afoul of these draconian policies; but it is mostly boys who are ensnared. Boys are nearly five times more likely to be expelled from preschool than girls. In grades K-12, boys account for nearly 70% of suspensions, often for minor acts of insubordination and defiance. In the cases of Christopher, Josh and Alex, there was no insubordination or defiance whatsoever. They were guilty of nothing more than being typical 7-year-old boys. But in today’s school environment, that can be a punishable offense.

Zero tolerance was originally conceived as a way of ridding schools of violent predators, especially in the wake of horrific shootings in places like Littleton, Colo. But juvenile violence, including violence at schools, is at a historic low. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 2011, approximately 1% of students ages 12 to 18 reported a violent victimization at school. For serious violence, the figure is one-tenth of 1%. It does no disrespect to the victims of Columbine or Sandy Hook to note that while violence may be built into the core of a small coterie of sociopathic boys, most boys are not sociopathic.

On the other hand, millions of boys are struggling academically. A large and growing male cohort is falling behind in grades and disengaged from school. College has never been more important to a young person’s life prospects, and today boys are far less likely than girls to pursue education beyond high school. As our schools become more risk averse, the gender gap favoring girls is threatening to become a chasm.

(MORE: Do Kids Really Have ‘Summer Learning Loss’?)

Across the country, schools are policing and punishing the distinctive, assertive sociability of boys. Many much-loved games have vanished from school playgrounds. At some schools, tug of war has been replaced with “tug of peace.” Since the 1990s, elimination games like dodgeball, red rover and tag have been under a cloud — too damaging to self-esteem and too violent, say certain experts. Young boys, with few exceptions, love action narratives. These usually involve heroes, bad guys, rescues and shoot-ups. As boys’ play proceeds, plots become more elaborate and the boys more transfixed. When researchers ask boys why they do it, the standard reply is, “Because it’s fun.”

According to at least one study, such play rarely escalates into real aggression — only about 1% of the time. But when two researchers, Mary Ellin Logue and Hattie Harvey, surveyed classroom practices of 98 teachers of 4-year-olds, they found that this style of play was the least tolerated. Nearly half of teachers stopped or redirected boys’ dramatic play daily or several times a week — whereas less than a third reported stopping or redirecting girls’ dramatic play weekly.

Play is a critical basis for learning. And boys’ heroic play is no exception. Logue and Harvey found that “bad guy” play improved children’s conversation and imaginative writing. Such play, say the authors, also builds moral imagination, social competence and imparts critical lessons about personal limits and self-restraint. Logue and Harvey worry that the growing intolerance for boys’ action-narrative-play choices may be undermining their early language development and weakening their attachment to school. Imagine the harm done to boys like Christopher, Josh and Alex who are not merely discouraged from their choice of play, but are punished, publicly shamed and ostracized.

Schools must enforce codes of discipline and maintain clear rules against incivility and malicious behavior. But that hardly requires abolishing tag, imposing games of tug of peace or banning superhero play. Efforts to re-engineer the young-male imagination are doomed to fail, but they will succeed spectacularly in at least one way. They will send a clear and unmistakable message to millions of schoolboys: You are not welcome in school.

878 comments
TroyAndrews
TroyAndrews

Christina Hoff Sommers "research" and "studies" are flimsy to say the least. She blames feminism and strict feminist policies. Their is a BIG FLAW in her conspiracy theories. The treatment of school boys in the past was STRICTER than we have today. There are no feminist run schools. How about personal responsibility? If you don't show up for class, get suspended, don't do homework, it's your own fault. The policies apply equally to males and females. American Boys have NEVER had massive amounts of playtime in school. Kids get the same recess they have ALWAYS had. 30 minutes and 30 min for lunch and phys ed. And much more for younger kids, more field trips stuff, drawing, and fun activity learning etc. Back in the day, boys would get hit with the ruler for not behaving, restrained and dragged down to the principles office. Nobody said a peep and the parents applauded it! Did Sommers ever go Catholic school? Sommers complains about public schools of today but they are NOTHING compared to what went on in strict schools for years. Discipline for boys was STRICTER for hundreds of years, yet boys did BETTER back then.  Her "research" isn't research at all, but biased thinking and guesses. She just wants to blame women for everything and come up with theories to back up her preconceived notions. Boys are acting crazier than ever before, beating, stabbing, disrespecting teachers and acting wild. Ask teachers! The teachers can't do anything because the boys cry "abuse" There is big fear of lawsuits.


Sommers also focuses on one subject......Reading. She thinks it's a conspiracy that girls like to read and boys don't. She assumes evil feminists must be doing something to deter boys from reading. The books I remember reading were the same classics students have been reading forever. School was just as boring. School is boring for everyone! History lessons are not female friendly, they are male friendly......study wars and talking about men and their accomplishments. Is History class really a Patriarchy conspiracy against female students?


My theory is boys get "boys will be boys" and not being held accountable by their parents or by the single mom. Parents and society tend to make a bunch of excuses instead of being held accountable. The boys are not bringing home homework, not studying, and not even showing up for school. When boys do something wrong or illegal the parents swear up and down their boy is a choir boy and live in denial. I've seen it a million times. Every time you see a young male get arrested you see the mother on the news saying "my son didn't do it" even though the boy has been hell raising for years. This could account for their poor performance. Parents force higher STRICTER expectations on the girls regarding school, sexuality and discipline. double standards could account for a lot. This is my theory and it just makes sense. Sommers conspiracy theories are deeply flawed.

steam
steam

It's quite simple, woman are afraid of men who can beat them down either with a gun or the back of a hand. The truth is men are extremely more violent then woman. I can't blame them for having this inherent fear. It filters down through our society in various manners and themes but the overall concept is the basis for anti-male behavior. There is no magic potion that will ease this situation. In the States it's glorified by Hollywood. Democracy, it's all apart of freedom. If you want to really fix the issue go communist. Close down the industries that glorify violence. Collect all guns and turn them into the State. Much safer for everyone.

steam
steam

It's a good idea to get these boys in prison early. They can learn faster with those who know the ropes. Once back on the outside they will deal with the system better until thrown back in or killed. It's what's really best for them.

KenHoward
KenHoward

I'm really mixed on this.  Eliminating "tug of war" seems stupid.  But if "The War Against Boys" is really just a thinly-veiled defense of bullying, then I have a problem with it.  It's not a "war against boys" to create a safe space in schools to protect those who are different -- including gay, lesbian, or transgender children -- from harassment and harm.  When I see comments on this page that criticize "liberal" teachers for enforcing anti-bullying policies, and see defense of religious-based violence (bullying), then I cry foul.  There is a HUGE difference between using common sense like allowing games of "cops and robbers" or "tug of war", and defending bullying.  Let's not mix the two.  I'd like to know what Sommers' politics and religion are, and if she is anti-gay, anti-trans, and pro-violence, as many Fundamentalist "Christians" (in name only) are. 

RickHatfield
RickHatfield

Great article, which is why more and more Americans are homeschooling their kids. When you look at the major spelling bees and college entrance exams, homeschooled kids always do better. Why? Because schools are hostile to our boys and do anything to emasculate them. The liberal teachers unions are as much to blame for this as anything else. Take God out of the schools and put transgender restrooms in. The end is near. 

glennra3
glennra3

Our entire nation has collectively lost its mind.

evenphilip7
evenphilip7

Excellent article. More teachers need to take heed of Sommers conclusions.

I remember, when I was in 3rd grade, a teacher telling several boys (myself included) that it was wrong for us to use sticks as fake guns during imaginative play. Even then, I thought she was ridiculous, and this sort of over-the-top political correctness has only gotten worse in the 15 years since then.

Mulva
Mulva

I am currently reading Sommers' book and I have two young boys.  I completely agree with her message.  My sons naturally exhibit a normal, age appropriate interest in shooting and bad guys.  They're 5 and 2.  Their father and I don't introduce this stuff to them and we don't toy guns.  We don't have to - the 5 yr. old makes a gun out of a piece of toast.  It's in his biology which just reinforces Sommers' point that they are different from girls and their needs should be respected in the classroom also.

R.ToddGabbard
R.ToddGabbard

None of these boys is in any way exhibiting violence. A "gun" chewed out of a pop tart is in no way a gun, any more than a cloud is a dragon or a bus; neither is an extended index finger a gun, or an imaginary object thrown a grenade. My son once had to sit in the principal's office for a whole day because he wrote a get well card to his friend with a joke in it that the administration deemed overly hostile (On front - "I hope you get well soon," inside "So I can kill you!"). It was a joke, and meant as a joke. He is the least violent kid you would ever come across. Humor is a sign of intelligence, as is an active imagination. Apparently allowing kids to explore either of these is essentially criminal. This stance will do nothing to enrich our children. Let them play tag and throw imaginary bombs at each other.

That same son asked me a week or so ago which did I value more: security or freedom? He always likes to put the old man on the spot. After a few anguished moments, I said freedom, and the more I think about it, the better that answer seems. Security is in the final analysis an illusion, anyway, and we have to give up so much for it. Stopping kids from pretending at conflict and yes, even violence, may provide this illusion, but at what price? We live in a world of conflict. What do we risk by allowing kids to play cops and robbers, if anything?

jashbowie
jashbowie

It's incredibly refreshing to read an article like this. The attempt to stifle boy's (and some girl's) natural inclinations towards heroic play is irrational and counterproductive. Research clearly shows that a reasonable level of roughhouse play promotes pro-social behavior and increased self-regulation and self-esteem. A very well-written introduction to this important issue.

MMBlack
MMBlack

. All they had to do all along was STOP letting bullies be bullies, regardless of the gender or the GAME, and that would resolve all these issues. But they can't, because half of them ARE bullies, they can't STAND to have both sexes be neutral and equal, they just HAVE to have one be superior to the other SOMEHOW. The GIRLS who like to play the same games as boys get treated like there's something "wrong" with them, both by the boys and the teachers. Boys who DON'T like these games get shamed as well by the same teachers. Apparently, the real problem is the OBSESSION with gender roles and sex expectations of boys and girls, and BIAS toward either boys or girls, depending on the individual adults. ALL BOYS don't play these games, and ALL GIRLS don't AVOID these games, but they LEARN TO avoid them because they're being shamed for not being "GIRLY ENOUGH", and boys are shamed for not being "ALL BOY" (stupidest phrase ever, if he's not "all boy" then what is he? People insult CHILDREN?!)  Adult bullies are all the same: If they're not treating the girls like second-class humans, they're doing it to the boys. Especially since they can't do it with race anymore. Gotta blame anyone and anything else but the bullies. (Because that's what bullies do.)

GreenFields
GreenFields

The same philosophy now applies in schools, that does in police departments; go for the easy prey. Kids pummeling others into a pulp on school buses, terrorize teachers and peers because the perps' unconcerned parents only get involved when they think their "right" to raise violent, cruel kids, is being threatened. 

Beating down the self worth of generally good kids, who have mostly engaged, law-abiding parents, is an easy way to look like we're making progress in limiting societal violence, while doing very little to address where the problem lies. It's the socially unaccountable, shadow populations and those part of the criminal sub-cultures within this Nation, who are bucking against the agreed upon norms of our social institutions, who need to hear it most. Preaching to the choir is not going to fix the problem.                                                                                     

ChristineGedansky
ChristineGedansky

Boys aren't oppressed, just the "shoot this" or "blow up that"  is oppressed.  There's no fast answer, but school is NOT hostile to boys.  It IS hostile to the real and increasing danger in older grades of violence, beatings in schools of students AND teachers and bullied students thinking weapons are the answer because they are not helped by parents or the "system." 

My son is no exception, as he constantly is making an explosion or electric shock noise under his breath as he blocks his "arch enemy." but we direct him towards his ideas of inventions & spaceships & rockets and his drawings and games change.   

Also, our boy is never told to suppress feelings. That's from other people, not the family. if you tell a kid that wants to express feelings to hold them in, they will come out in a REALLY bad and inopportune moment, so you wont even know WHAT was the real cause. 

Play with your kids at home and have them teach you what they learned, and suggest ANY ideas you come up with to the kids' teacher.  I suggest things or bring in games i find that are moving & learning and the teachers are always grateful.

TammyFun-NiteArt
TammyFun-NiteArt

My son is 9 and in the 4th grade. He literally went from loving school to absolutely hating going to school and I listen to him complain everyday.  He says "4th grade is boring. We never get to play or have any fun. ALL we do is WORK and LEARN" This is from a child who eats up information like a chocolate chip cookie. BUT... given too much information without activity and playtime to process it is OVERLOAD. He is feeling overloaded. 

There is definitely some truth to this article. I believe that boys are oppressed from the beginning by our culture treating them as if they are disposable, they are not to show or have feelings and they are never to seem weak. (These all send oppressive messages to our boys) But now, we are removing the few things that boys may actually look forward to while they are at school. Are we forgetting that children need rewards for hard work, too? What if your boss said you were supposed to come and work ALL DAY... and get no pay?  Would you want to stay?

In regards to this article, I am living this right now. Although our son doesn't play with guns as a habit, we don't limit him in that way. However, I see more and more that RECESS/play time is eliminated from the School day. Last year, recess was removed from him as a disciplinary tool (too often, I believe)... and this year he simply hates school. Those are the words he says. The words I hear are that of a CHILD begging for us adults to STOP THRUSTING HIM INTO ADULTHOOD because of our FEAR OF SOCIETAL FAILURE. Kids need time to be kids. Lord knows they have PLENTY of time to be serious... right around the corner.

AlexandreGarcia
AlexandreGarcia

This is ridiculous.
No one turns into a psycho because he played cops or soldier as a kid.

KimAikens
KimAikens

I agree with this, and I think it demonstrates two phenomena coming together - not sexism or an inherent attack on maleness. The media will not try to frame it as such because they're only interested in fuelling the War of the Sexes because it's controversial. It's designed to engage, not inform, the reader. I say this trying to have some objectivity, but TBH I'm a guy who's dropped out of school and went back to finish.
The first cause of the problem is the obvious one which is that schools are becoming absurdly PC bureaucratic cesspools where creativity is stifled and knowledge is drilled. This is problematic for the learning of both boys and girls (note I say learning here, not marks), and I find it a little sexist to use unproven biological determinism to explain why a highly structured environment with little individual creativity and freedom clashes with boys and not girls. I think one of the questions we need to ask is why girls are raised to be so compliant. (we're supposed to believe girls like the disciplinarian environment, they like being told to stop talking to their friends, etc?)
The second cause of the problem is normalization of violence in our culture. There are many ways to make the argument that schools have a sexist disciplinary policy , but saying that boy's education is impeded without the necessary play violence is a weak stance. There are a lot of ways to build social, language and spatial intelligence that don't involve idolizing action characters which teach boys to be risky and violent, not to mention to think in black and white morals ("good" vs "evil" is a dangerous blueprint for morality) The first one that comes to mind is sports, but there are loads of competitive play opportunities physical and otherwise that don't require a preoccupation with firearms.
Guns being acceptable and normal IS a problem, schools are punishing the wrong people with these suspensions - impressionable young males being taught a culture which normalizes violence. Healthy competition and also healthy teamwork is important to development, but I think we're still hung up on a belief that boys must be indoctrinated into a culture of violence. 
I will not accept the argument that boys are predisposed to violence, mainly due to the fact that we have no causal link between being male and being violent. Perhaps most violent crimes are committed by males, but that tells us nothing about our inherent/biological nature. We have struggled to find a link between testosterone and violent behaviour but have failed to find conclusive evidence. We know that too high (such as that seen with steroids) and too low testosterone causes irritability, and anger, possibly leading to violence. However unless you had health problems or did illicit drugs, this shouldn't affect the majority of males. We also know that hormone fluctuations similarly affect women's tempers (PMS anyone?)
So where's the explanation?

nupenini@aol.com
nupenini@aol.com

As a retired kindergarten and first grade teacher I am glad I am not teaching today. I see part of the boy problem as pushing them way too fast. They are not ready at to give up the learning from play to sit still and study. I used to say get them ready in kindergarten and I can teach in a month in first what it takes you all year in kindergarten. It is especially so with boys. They experience failure so young and things just get worse. Why would they want to graduate or keep going. I tutored in first grade this last year and I was to teach spelling words they couldn't even read! 


This is very simplistic compared to all the below but should be looked at. What is the hurry? They will learn when they are ready is an old philosophy I learned in college. They are being taught all at the same rate and then a room full of tutors to help all who are behind.

sictransit5
sictransit5

I've got kids in school from Kindergarten to High School. Elementary school doesn't seem to have these kinds of problems, teachers have rational expectations and what is addressed is aggressive behavior that is actually hurtful or is designed to be - and there is a fair amount of it, but mostly from children who have been raised by a parent who behaves this way, and so sees this as their only resource. In High School, the opposite is the case - the small infractions that meet the strict letter of the rule are addressed, possibly because the student is amenable to correction, while the really aggressive and antisocial students don't get called down. In some cases, teachers are genuinely afraid of them, they don't accept being corrected and become vengeful instead, and the administration doesn't want to be involved, the parent will not come to conferences or even accept phone calls, so the teacher is actually verbally reprimanded for referring such students, and told they are failing to maintain a proper learning environment in their classroom.

JewelsDumas
JewelsDumas

Thank you for this article. People can be blind all they want to what's happening to our boys. It starts early. That's why 70% of college students are now women. We have told our boys they are not welcome in traditional school. So we homeschool now!

Tiffyr
Tiffyr

You can tell little kids not to play guns all you want but they will find a way....pop tarts, fingers, sticks...they always find a way.  Before guns were invented they wrestled, played swords, bows and arrows.   Why not lay off the kids and let them play and enjoy being young without heaping adult fears and issues on them?    All these rules have no power to change the underlying human nature and how the brain develops.

dashton
dashton

Thank you for recognizing the biological difference between boys and girls.  Refreshing to see a rational stance from Time.  

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

Truth is our centralized education is hostile to females too. Just because woman are more likely to embrace socialist propaganda transmitted in a classroom does not mean it is good for them. Females are taught to work for corporations and pay taxes rather then have a family or focus on their children. Not only do most females end up embracing this option of slaving away for the elite, they increasingly give up the raising of their children to these same elite interests. The info in this article is true but not new. This has been happening for decades. As a white male I do not feel welcome in our society at all.

giuliano
giuliano

Children should nibbble their tarts into ray guns instead, they are much more effective

giuliano
giuliano

Suspending a child for nibbling on a Pop Tart to shapa a gun?...................................In 20 years the US will be a country of wimps. 

alyxdesigns
alyxdesigns

Oh, And as a point, this militant feminist from the sisterhood used to play guns and swords and fighting the good fight too. Because it was fun.

But I guess that's hard for anyone to wrap their heads around, since I'm too busy working with other straw feminists to build a monarchy RIGHT OVER YOUR EYES. Y'know, enslave all the boys, take all your jobs, and just use you as sperm banks. Sounds totally feasible. Right up there with Communists brainwashing America and the Gay Agenda.

We actually meet every sunday. Not a white dude in sight. Unless he's gay. Or a communist.

WilliamE.Vann
WilliamE.Vann

@KenHoward If you must know Dr. Sommers is a fringe Feminist. I say "fringe" because she is not very popular in main stream feminism (be "main stream" Feminism/ Feminist leadership is radical feminist) because she advocates for helping boys and man with problems they face in life. This like with she points out here in this article.

ConstantineDanny
ConstantineDanny

@KenHoward Your post was excellent until you place in Dr. Sommers' politics and religion. This is where you tend to lose objectivity. Dr. Sommers' politics and religion do not affect the peer reviewed research that she references in her works. When someone has an opposite worldview, especially if they have the "Christian" worldview (and if you are honest you know that has many facets) then immediately they are labeled bigots, bullies, or haters. When it comes to elementary aged children there is no conclusive evidence on young boys and girls being "born" with these traits. You know this as fact if there is to be academic honesty here.


You have a worldview that biases your own opinion, and to say that you are perfectly objective would immediately discredit any integrity in your comments arguments. I have my own personal worldview on these matter, but I attempt to do my best to be objective and do the research. 


Bullying is wrong, but to use the transgender, lesbian, or homosexual card (especially in elementary school aged children) is going against current research. Children will fight each other, they will have conflict, but the use a LGBTQ argument as somehow a premise to expel children out of school because they may not agree with how they are taught at home (religion of any sort) as say that is bullying is really pushing an agenda that is both harmful to boys and girls and even make the LGBTQ community look very foolish.

Rhetor
Rhetor

@LupitaGonzales Well, there's a simple way to do that--castrate little boys at birth. Oh wait, research amply demonstrates make and female brains are wired differently, the solution would be lobotomies....

RachelCohen
RachelCohen

@LupitaGonzales How? Clearly you are a misandrist as you find no value in masculinity. If it was good then they would not have these problems in school as Sommers says. Consider the following, there are less men in college, theses men have a low chance to be be married, men who are not married are more prone to violence. So, it this anti male system continues in the schools we could seen an increase in violence as men engage in anomie causing more problems for all of us.

hallofrecord
hallofrecord

@LupitaGonzales ... if you like boys to be females.  Perhaps that's the problem with so many feminists who have gone through the masculization process: feminists want to be treated as "women", but want to be seen to be as "tough as a man."  Since the women are failing miserably at being men, they hope to achieve their goals by turning men into pseudo women.  Of course, all that will happen is the women will despise those type of men and the men will despise those type of women.

Some things are nature, not nurture.

hallofrecord
hallofrecord

@MMBlack What Ms. Sommers was saying is that there are strong, inherent, natural tendencies that the present educational mills are attempting to disregard and even actively oppose in the name of "gender neutrality" [as if that makes any sense except for neutered individuals].  Boy absolutely learn differently from girls, but the present educational mills attempt to force female-style learning on boys and then over-react when the boys refuse to be "reeducated."

You should read her book among others on this subject. 

R.ToddGabbard
R.ToddGabbard

Your son is doing nothing wrong by imagining fights, battles, or space wars in his head. Nor would he do anything wrong if he acted out these tropes by himself or with others. Boys have been play fighting with each other for millennia. It happens in every culture. It is ludicrous to assume that this type of play does or could result in an "increasing danger," such as the terrible examples of gun violence we have seen of late. 

There have always been bullies, and there always will be. Forcing your son to turn from his interests will not remedy this.

hallofrecord
hallofrecord

@ChristineGedansky Boys are not "oppressed" in the sense that school systems intentionally harm them, but they are oppressed by school policies that suppress processes by which the boys learn best.  Suppression may not quite be oppression, but it comes in a close second.  Are there bullies? Certainly, both boys and girls [or did you not go to high school?].  But that has nothing to do with suppressing roughhouse play and tactile/spatial learning in favor or all-day sedentary female-oriented learning processes.

KateFernstrom
KateFernstrom

@TammyFun-NiteArt I agree with you Tammy. This is exactly what happened to my son in the 4th grade. From a boy who loved school to one who hated it in one grade? I will say that the teacher he had that year was not at all sympathetic and had a history of "issues" with different children, but that says something is wrong with the system not the children. My son also did not make a habit of pretending to play with guns. He did have a ninja turtles "sword" and he and his friends liked to play with those when they were little. Today he is an adult, a father and loves to read military history, particularly WWII history and first person accounts. Does this make him a war monger or a killer? No, it doesn't. He also likes watching sports and playing sports related video games. Does this make him a football player? No thank goodness. What he is is a hard worker, a good husband and father, a good son and a contributing member of his community as a volunteer auxiliary police officer. Sound like a bad kid to you? Me neither. Unfortunately the system is broken and it is up to us as their parents to run interference, shore up their confidence, remind them that life sometimes means doing stuff we don't like and dealing with people who aren't fair, and if we can find it, give them some options.

WilliamE.Vann
WilliamE.Vann

@KimAikens Most schools and teachers let things like talking with friends slid in class (more so with the girls then the boys, I know that from personal experiences when I was young). But will kick a kid (most often a boy) for taping on their desk with their finger or moving around in their seats (action orientated behaviors most often seen in boy). and it is not about girls liking "Disciplinarian environments" but about the fact that most girls IN GENERAL are just naturally more Self-Structuring in behavior. And so the overly structured environment that schools have become is easier for them to work and learn in.       

Ceph
Ceph

@KimAikens 

Well-said. I agree with your critique of the idea that girls are "naturally" predisposed to being stifled. Expelling students for biting Pop-Tarts into guns is ridiculous, but I don't think gender is at the heart of the problem.

FredEdward
FredEdward

@sictransit5 "Christopher Marshall, age 7, was suspended from his Virginia school for picking up a pencil and using it to “shoot” a “bad guy” — his friend, who was also suspended. A few months earlier, Josh Welch, also 7, was sent home from his Maryland school for nibbling off the corners of a strawberry Pop-Tart to shape it into a gun. At about the same time, Colorado’s Alex Evans, age 7, was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade at “bad guys” in order to “save the world.”

 Sorry but that does not sound like your "aggressive behavior that is actually hurtful or is designed to be".  It sounds like an utterly over the top, completely irrational response to behavior that harmed no one...

AshleyMalagant
AshleyMalagant

@sictransit5 You sound like an entitlement baby. Do you think teacher's 30 years ago didn't have these problems? Statistics say they did. They seemed to manage. Maybe you should switch professions. It doesn't sound like you are cut out for it.

bluebuttoneyes
bluebuttoneyes

people think boys are "born this way" to be violent and to love guns etc...no.  it is what their parents and society taught them to do and love.  why can't boys just be taught from birth to like nonviolent things?  and if they "can't" maybe they are monsters.

jashbowie
jashbowie

@united_we_stand This is absurd and misogynistic. Losing white, male privilege is not the same thing as being repressed. 

AshleyMalagant
AshleyMalagant

@united_we_stand That paragraph makes absolutely no sense. If they embrace socialism, as you state in your second sentence, then how do you make the transition to them slaving for corporations (capitalism). You can't have it both ways. Are they socialists or capitalists? It sounds like you've bought into the class warfare nonsense you've been fed. You know what happened last time a group of people were blamed for all of society's ills? I bet you do, and I bet you can't explain the difference between you hatred of the wealthy, and their hatred of the Jew. Same propaganda, and same idiots to mindlessly eat it up.

AshleyMalagant
AshleyMalagant

@giuliano It's already a country of wimps. The commies have won. Read the 10 Planks of Communism and you'll see exactly how far this country has fallen.

jashbowie
jashbowie

@bluebuttoneyes There is a difference between being born with an increased inclination towards heroic play and a love of violence. Boys on the whole are indeed more inherently physical in their play, while girls are on the whole more social. Yes, there is overlap and, yes, many games are culturally taught. But there is a reason why no culture has ever developed where the majority of young boys focus on polite social play while the girls roughhouse. Moreover, if you want boys to be less violent as adults, monitored roughhousing has been shown to be an important way to accomplish that...it teaches boundaries, consequences, and helps the boys work out feelings related to conflict. In other words, kids who roughhouse (within reason) tend to be *more* pro-social than boys who are prevented from it. I know that's counterintuitive, but the research bears it out.  

WilliamE.Vann
WilliamE.Vann

@jashbowie @bluebuttoneyes Jash If you really think about it, it is in fact NOT counter-intuitive. Just think of it as a forum of trial and error or experimentation.   

R.ToddGabbard
R.ToddGabbard

@jashbowie @bluebuttoneyes I cannot agree more - thanks, Jash, for putting very precise words to my thoughts. Many lessons can be learned from collective, physical, imaginative play, and stifling this is in no one's best interest.