Boys and School: A background paper on the “Boy Crisis”

In this report for the Swedish Delegation for Gender Equality in Schools, Michael Kimmel discusses how the phenomenon of boys as a group tending to perform worse in school can be understood, and examines what remedial measures can be taken. In the industrialised world major changes have taken place in societies over the last 50 years. But the ideologies of what it means to be masculine have not adapted accordingly. Ultimately the problem is related to the lower participation and worse results attained in education by boys and young men, and also by certain behavioural problems in the school arising from ideologies on masculinity. A boy is expected to deviate from feminine norms, exude an aura of aggression and independence, and not reveal vulnerability. Challenging these ideologies is good for both girls and boys, is the view of the author.

Author: Michael Kimmel

Institutional Sponsor: Swedish Government

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