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Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men Hardcover – August 14, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Boys Adrift ". . . is powerfully and persuasively presented. . . Excellent and informative references and information are provided."   JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)

"A must-read for any parent of boys." Dr. Mehmet Oz

"Fascinating . . .terrifying . . . Sax identifies an epidemic of lost boys. Luckily, he offers solutions." The Globe and Mail

"Startling . . .like a brick thrown through your window." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D., is a family physician, research psychologist, and acclaimed author of Why Gender Matters. He is founder and executive director of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education in Montgomery County, Maryland (NASSPE). Dr. Sax’s scholarly work has been published in a wide variety of prestigious journals, including American Psychologist, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Journal of the American Medical Association. He is a popular speaker and has been a featured guest on CNN, PBS, Fox News, NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” “The Today Show,” and many other programs. He lives in Montgomery County, Maryland.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (August 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465072097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465072095
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leonard Sax MD PhD graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the age of 19, and then went on to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned both a PhD in psychology, and an MD. He completed a 3-year residency in family practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For 19 years, Dr. Sax was a practicing family physician in Maryland, just outside Washington DC. In 2005, Doubleday published his first book Why Gender Matters; an updated edition will be published in 2017. His second book, Boys Adrift, was published in 2007; an updated edition will be published in June 2016. His third book Girls on the Edge was published in 2010. His fourth book The Collapse of Parenting was published by Basic Books in December 2015.
Dr. Sax has spoken on issues of child and adolescent development not only in the United States but also in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, and Switzerland. He has visited more than 380 schools since 2001. He has appeared on the TODAY Show, CNN, National Public Radio, Fox News, PBS, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, New Zealand Television, and many other national and international media.
Dr. Sax now lives with his wife and daughter in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He returned to clinical practice, in Pennsylvania, in 2013. His favorite activities are hiking in the woods, and making music with his wife and daughter (he plays piano). You can reach Dr. Sax directly, or visit his Facebook page, via his web site leonardsax.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard the first mention of this book on NPR and immediately ordered the book. It arrived just the other day and I sat down and read it through in one sitting, after listening to the author's very articulate discussion about the major factors which are contributing to the fact that boys -AND men - are faring worse than ever. The book is the result of many years of detailed study and research, not just some pop psych book hastily written and thrown out there.

I'll list some of the major points of the book but first I wanted to note some of the things I've observed, all of which the author covered as well. First, personal experience: As a parent of three, I've seen firsthand the changes in the school system in the last 25 years. Our oldest was allowed to walk about his classroom and his personality and inability to sit still for long periods of time was addressed, without meds (this does NOT mean that I think ADD or attention-deficit disorder does not exist but I DO think that in today's world he might well have been defined as ADD instead of having other options first). He loved school and he thrived and does not have ADD. In fact, as time went on, he settled down and became a rather steady, focused student.

As the author of this book has also noticed, there have been some alarming changes in the school system over the years. Kindergarten went from being a "hands-on" place, one that is good for boys, to a place where students were pushed to read, learn by doing worksheets and move away from field trips, exploring the world, meeting people in various professions or just touring a bread factory. This is a MAIN point made by the author, that
boys (and all children) need to "know" things by a combination of book learning and real experience.
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Format: Hardcover
My youngest son is 22 and a senior in college. He called me the other day and said he had read a book and it changed his life. He told me that I had to go out and buy this book - "today!". I did and after reading it, I find that I am alarmed and at the same time reassured. My youngest son, in particular, is very much in the catagory of adrift and unmotivated. Now I know why. Now he knows why. He is incredibly reassured that he is normal, that he is not alone, and that there are steps he can take to "fix" his world. The first thing he is doing is unplugging his video devices; PC, Wii, xbox, nintendos, even his TV. He visited with his college advisor to get back on track with his physics major. Yes, he is very smart. But he is derailed in many ways for all the reasons laid out well in this remarkable book. I can tell you that you should, you must and you would be remiss if you have a male child and do not buy, read and digest this information. It will change your family and the way you do things. My husband is a director on the local school board and we intend to make some noise in our local school district because this is too huge of a problem across our country and in our schools to ignore. Thank you to Dr. Sax for his insightful, well researched and extremely helpful, motivating book. My son is a better person for knowing why he is the way he is and now has the tools to make himself over - better. I intend to help him get there. READ THIS BOOK!
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Format: Paperback
I'm a mom of two sons, 12 and 14 years old. A doctor friend of mine recommended this book (she also has sons). Dr. Sax starts out with a lot of promise: here are our cultural problems; here are reasons why our boys are experiencing these problems... then what? Change the schools, delay kindergarten, radically alter diets, ban the internet? I feel something IS different for boys today; I see it daily. Yet I can't turn back time and start them later in kindergarten or revamp the current trends in schools. There aren't any all-boy schools in my town. Dr. Sax's "answers" seem broad and vague.

I've read dozens of books over the years--primarily because my boys' childhoods have been so different from my own (farmer's daughter). The best ones provide practical suggestions I can use. Unfortunately, I didn't find much practical advice in Boys Adrift. My dad's answer for my brothers and me was work--manual labor, often outdoors. My bros (in their 40s now) didn't like school and barely figured out they needed to hop on the academic bus in time to go to college (which they did). Now they have their own businesses. So if today's boys are stuck with too much "Wissenschaft" in school, where is Dr. Sax's list of boys camps where they can balance that with "Kenntnis"? Where are the resources for hands-on learning such as the First competitions ([...]) or Lego Mindstorm? How about links to the Boy Scouts of America or other programs? Are there groups promoting apprenticeships? I'm disappointed: 185 pages of lead-up and 34 pages of Wissenschaft-type solutions. I'm still searching for ways to help my boys become good, smart, healthy men AND live within the systems and time frame of their generation.
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Format: Hardcover
As the mother of a homeschooled son who also had seven other boys living with us at one time or another I think this is a must read for anyone who cares about young males in society and the harm that has been done to them over the last twenty to thirty years. So many of the other excellent reviews make points I would agree with.

Decades ago I read Dr Raymond Moore's books on how young boys learn and how they often are late in learning to read, but that just because they were not early readers doesn't mean they weren't learning valuable lessons in life. Then I remembered my late mother and how she was talking about how many of the boys in her second grade class, were being put on ADD medications and she felt this was unwise, and that what was needed was a return to mid morning, afternoon recess breaks and recess during the lunch time so that boys could be boys and burn off some of the excess energy and have plenty of oxygen in their brains to make learning more fun. And as the author notes young males who aren't getting the physical activity they need pay a big price.

And like the author many social scientists have noted the high number of single Mom families where boys are not being exposed to make role models. This is not a slam on single Moms, but is a shout out to males who give up so easily and walk away from their kids. Young males need adult men in their lives who will demonstrate what self discipline is all about and that instant gratification isn't the goal.

And yes I agree with the author on the role computer games play in a negative way.
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