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ARE boys in trouble today Their situation is desperate according to a coalition of clinical and academic psychologists The alarming news has been trumpeted in scholarly journals as well as in several bestselling books most notably William Pollacks Real Boys and Michael Gurians The Wonder of Boys and A Fine Young Man Both Pollack codirector of the Center for Men at McClean Hospital of Harvard Medical School and Gurian a Washington-based family therapist want to persuade us that we are in the midst of a boy crisis of epidemic proportion According to Pollack and Gurian boys today are plagued by depression isolation despair and fragile self-esteem Boys are performing poorly in school compared with their sisters who are now thriving Diagnoses of attention-deficit disorder in male children are escalating as are disciplinary problems school drop-out rates psychiatric disorders and suicide In the words of Pollack Many feel a sadness and disconnection they cannot even name Millions of our adolescent boys have experienced a trauma of some kind asserts Gurian and they havent got the emotional resources or support from others to cope with the pain Our boys are like soldiers traumatized in wartime and they are showing symptoms of posttraumatic stress Boys have also become dangerously aggressive committing more and more crimes The number of violent criminals among our adolescent boys is incredible And these males in turn pose a danger to the rest of us Warns Gurian Trauma-causing a dolescent males are everywhere Pollack Gurian and other psychologists raising the boy problem are not concerned about a small group of disadvantaged youngsters who might truly be in danger They are talking about all boys even those who seem to be normal We should not be fooled says Gurian by the Im fine mask When a boy says Im fine he actually means things are not really fine Boys who seem to have high self- esteem are in fact
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