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.
Latest posts by Jennifer L. W. Fink (see all)
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