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Two Reports from Judith Kleinfeld

A pair of studies of University of Alaska professor Judith Kleinfeld are available at the top of the Boys Project website.

The beginning of the press release:

Fairbanks, Alaska--Boys face high rates of a variety of mental health issues, in addition to lagging behind girls in academic performance and college attendance, according to two new papers by University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Judith Kleinfeld.


The studies, recently published in the journal Gender Issues, note that boys have higher rates of suicide, conduct disorders, emotional disturbance, premature death and juvenile delinquency than their female peers, as well as lower grades, test scores and college attendance rates.

The first paper, "The State of American Boyhood," offers a status report on the academic, mental and social health of boys in the United States. Her conclusion: There is neither a "girl crisis" nor a "boy crisis."

"Rather, boys and girls suffer from different types of characteristic problems," Kleinfeld wrote, noting that girls have higher rates of depression, suicide attempts and eating disorders. "Schools need to pay attention to the difficulties of both girls and boys and bring these problems to the attention of families, teachers and mental health professionals."

Still, boys are in far more serious trouble, she argues. The gender gap in reading and writing at the end of high school, for example, is far wider than the gap in math and science ever was. More than a quarter of American male high school graduates can't understand a newspaper article, compared to about 10 percent of girls.

Kleinfeld's second study, "No Map to Manhood: Male and Female Mindsets Behind the College Gender Gap," drew on in-depth interviews with 99 high school seniors in the Fairbanks area, as well as national statistics on college attendance. She aimed to shed light on why boys are less likely than girls to seek postsecondary education.

"Males who do not have a college education are far more vulnerable to unemployment and the wages of men without a college education are plummeting," Kleinfeld said.

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