A Message from Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
Host of the PBS Documentary RAISING CAIN: Boys in Focus
It's time to look at what's happening to America's boys and figure out what we can do to help. American boys are fifteen times more likely than girls to abuse drugs and alcohol and twice as likely to die in a car crash. Boys are 30 percent more likely than girls to drop out of high school. Women are currently earning 56 percent of the college degrees in the U.S. and 55 percent of the graduate degrees.
Though the epidemic of violence that gripped young men in the U.S. from 1975 to 1995 has diminished, young men in America are still the most violent in the industrialized world. And boys are not just a threat to other people; they account for 85 percent of completed suicides.
All of these statistics suggest that a significant percentage of American boys are troubled psychologically; they are not finding either success or peace of mind. Many are silent, angry and hard for adults to "read." Why? Is it because so many of American boys do not have a father? Is it because they spend too much time playing video games, or because they do not have adequate role models? Why is it so difficult for adults to talk to boys and learn what they are thinking? Are we raising our boys the wrong way? If so, what is the right way?
The PBS Parents Guide to Raising Boys will introduce you to the inner world of boys. By understanding boys better, we can discover effective strategies for raising them and work together to help them feel safe, help them achieve academically, and help them grow into happier, more responsible young men.