Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scary statistics re. adolescent males and females

Seventy-five per cent of girls graduated from publicly funded high schools in Canada in 2006-’07, compared to 68 per cent of boys, according to Statistics Canada.

Nearly 61 per cent of degrees, diplomas and certificates from Canadian universities in 2007 were awarded to women “continuing a long-term trend in which female graduates outnumber their male counterparts and their proportion continues to increase,” says StatsCan
. (These figures are found in Robert Cribb's story, Toronto Star, May 19, 2010)

In one Ontario public school system, according to a trustee on the board of that system, the ratio of female to male students in the "Gifted Student" Program is 95%:5%. In other words, if you are male in the secondary school system in that board, you are statistically "not gifted" since you will not fit the criteria for entry.

In 1996, researcher Diane Ravitch, summed up self-esteem research this way:
If there is a crisis in self-esteem, it is not among young women. Girls are doing very well indeed. Boys, in the meantime, are killing themselves and each other at alarming rates. If either sex is in trouble in our society, it is the males. (from A Fine Young Man, Michael Gurian, Tarcher/Putnam, New York, 1998, p.21)
(Gurian's stories and statistics come from the U.S. Much more research is needed to compile data about Canadian adolescent males. This could be one of the primary purposes and results of one or more Male Studies Programs.)
On page 11 of the same book, Michael Gurian, (who has a foundation in the northwest U.S. dedicated the nurturing boys and men) writes:
Statistics and stories about our homicidal adolescent males are dramatic enough to garner most of the headlines: the fourteen-year-old in Mississippi who killed two children and wounded seven; the fouteen-year-old in Kentucky who shot three dead; the thirteen-year-old in Washington who opened fire in his school and killed three; the elevel-and thirteen-year-olds who killed five in Jonesboro, Arkansas. (Statistics in Canada would not be as high as these.)
Gurian continues: But they don't describe the whole picture. It seems impossible for us to fully comprehend the state of male adolescence in our culture, yet it is essential we do so. There is hardly any social or personal health indicator in which adolescent boys do not show the lion's share of risk today. Decades ago, our females suffered more in more high-risk areas, and now our adolescent males are suffering privation we have not fully understood...
(Here are some statistic Gurian lays out)
Adolescent boys are significantly more likely than adolescent girls to die before the age of eighteen, not just from violent causes but also from accidental death and disease.
Adolescent boys are significantly more likely than adolescent girls to die at the hands of their caregivers. Two out of three juveniles killed at the hands of their parents or stepparents are male.
Adolescent boys are fifteen times as likely as peer females to be victims of violent crime.
One-third of adolescent male student nationwide (U.S.) carry a gun or other weapon to school.
Gunshot wounds are now (1998) the second leading cause of accidental death among ten-to fourteen-year-old males.
Adolescent boys are four times more likely than adolescent girls to be diagnosed as emotionally disturbed.
The majority of juvenile mental patients nationwide are male. Depending on the state, most often between two-thirds and three-fourths of patients at juvenile mental facilities are male.
Most of the deadliest and longest lasting mental problems experienced by children are experienced by adolescent males. For example, there are six male adolescent schizophrenics for every one female. Adolescent autistic males outnumber females two to one.
Adolescent males significantly outnumber females in diagnoses of most conduct disorders, thought disorders and brain disorders.
The majority of adolescent alcoholics and drug addicts are males.
(According to Terrence Real, a Cambridge MA psychotherapist):
Although females are popularly considered to suffer more depression than males, in fact it is "overt depression" that our adolescent females experience two to four times more often than males. "Covert depression" --evidenced in drug and alcohol use, criminal activity, avoidance of intimacy and isolation from others, especially families-brings the male-female depression ratio at least to par. Real makes another important observation: Depression in males has often been overlooked because we don't recognize the male's way of being depressed. We measure depression by the female's model of overt depression. She talks about suicide, expresses feelings of worthlessness, shows her fatigue. Unaware of the male's less expressive, more stoic way of being, we miss the young depressed man, who in a town in Washington, walked into his high-school and opened fire on his classroom, killing his classmates.
More statistics:
Adolescent males are four times more likely than adolescent females to commit suicide. Suicide success statistics (death actually occurs) for adolescent males are rising; for females they are not rising.
One of the most important findings of youth suicide studies is that adolescent males seem to have so much more trouble than their female peers in reaching out for help when they are in deep trouble, except through violence against others, society or self.
ADHD is almost exclusively a male malady. One out of six adolescents iagnosed with ADHD is female.
ADHD is one of the reasons for the high rate of adolescent male vehicle accidents and fatalities.
One in five males has been sexually abused by the age of eighteen.
Most sexual offenders are hetersexual males who have been physically and/or sexually abused as boys themselves. (Adolescent females suffer at a higher rate: at least one in four.) However, male sexual abuse has only recently been studied and some researchers have found that as many as two out of five male children are sexually abused-comparable to the rate of female sexual abuse.
A sexually abused adolescent male is more likely than his female counterpart to act out against someone else, generally someone younger and weaker than himself, through rape, physical violence and sexual molestation.
Adolescent boys are twice as likely as adolescent girls to be diagnosed as learning disabled.
Two-thirds of high school special education and handicapped students are male.
Adolescent male learning disabilities are more intractable, on average, than those of adolescent females.
Adolescent males drop out of high school at four times the rate of adolescent females (including the females who drop out to have babies.)
Adolescent males are significantly more likely than adolescent females to be left back a grade.
Fewer boys than girls now study advanced algebra and geometry, about the same number study trigonometry and calculus, and more girls than boys study chemistry.
Adolescent males are outscored by adolescent females by twelve points in reading and by seventeen points in writing.
Grade eight girls are twice as likely as grade eight boys to aspire to a professional, business or managerial career. (Gurian, p.11-16)

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