Did you know that…
- 3 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD
- 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism
- More likely to have asthma, headaches and depression, at least pre-puberty. (After puberty, girl experience more asthmatic episodes, headaches and depression than boys.)
- More likely to experience sports injuries, after puberty?
But by the time they’re teens, boys rarely visit the doctor. Why? Lack of insurance is surely part of the issue; millions of American boys are uninsured. Millions more are under-insured. For them, visiting the doctor means forgoing some other necessity.
Millions of boys also believe that seeing a doctor somehow makes them less manly. Research has shown that men who embrace traditional beliefs about masculinity are 50% less likely to go to the doctor. Somehow, these men have confused strength with stupidity.
As parents of boys, it’s up to us to teach boys that it’s OK — no, not OK; NECESSARY — to look after their health. Help your boys understand that a healthy body and mind enable them to engage fully in the world. And set a good example. Kids of parents who avoid the doctor and neglect their health grow into adults who shrug off doctors’ visits and ignore aches and pains until it’s too late.