The more I probed, the more I realized that the subject of boys is a bog of sociology in which a clever researcher, given a little time, can unearth evidence to support almost any point of view. I also came to the sad realization that this field, like so many others, has been infiltrated by our left-right political noise machine. Our boys have become cannon fodder in the unresolved culture wars waged by their parents and grandparents. On one side, concern for boys is waved off as a mere "backlash against the women's movement," as two writers declared dismissively in the Washington Post last year. The opposing side views any divergence from the crisis theme as male-bashing feminism.
Then I came across a new report from the Federal Government: Uncle Sam's annual attempt to paint a broad statistical portrait of the nation's young people. In long rows of little numbers printed on page after page of tables, this report told a different story from that of either the woe bearers or the myth busters.
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