Gender Issues

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 113–129

The State of American Boyhood

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12147-009-9074-z

Cite this article as:
Kleinfeld, J. Gend. Issues (2009) 26: 113. doi:10.1007/s12147-009-9074-z


The existence of a “boy crisis” in the United States is a topic of public policy debate. This study examines the state of American boyhood, using not only the commonly reviewed indicators of school achievement but also mental health, premature death, injury, delinquency, and arrests. Boys are in trouble in many areas: low rates of literacy, low grades and engagement in school, high dropout from school, and dramatically higher rates of placement in special education, suicide, premature death, injuries, and arrests. Girls, however, suffer from other problems, especially depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, and eating disorders, and are less likely to achieve at the very highest levels in mathematics and science. This study argues that both boys and girls suffer from characteristic problems, but the issues affecting boys are serious and neglected.


BoysGenderWriting achievementReading achievementSuicide of boys

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA