In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 7, 2006 / 9 Nissan

Real guys ‘fail to launch,’ too

By Clarence Page

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Much has been said, especially by chattering pundits like me, about recent reports of lost economic ground among young, undereducated black males, despite the economic boom.

More needs to be said about another social specimen that white, middle-class America will find closer to home — perhaps even in their own home. I'm talking about young adult males who are not leaving home, despite gentle-but-firm hints from Mom and Dad to get out and make something of their lives.

They're not slackers. They're just, shall we say, sluggish.

"Failure to Launch" is a hit movie comedy built around this theme. It stars Sarah Jessica Parker as a consultant hired by the parents of a guy played by Matthew McConaughey to motivate the otherwise friendly and intelligent young man to get up and show some ambition beyond video games, hooking up with young women and hanging out with his buddies, two of whom are living with their parents, too.

It is, as Hollywood promoters like to say, more than just a movie. For example, Leonard Sax, a family physician and psychologist in Montgomery County, Maryland, says McConaughey's character mirrors the sort of surprisingly bright but ambitionless middle- and upper-class lad he's seeing with increasing frequency in his practice.

"This phenomenon cuts across all demographics," Sax wrote in a recent Washington Post essay. "You'll find it in families both rich and poor; black, white, Asian and Hispanic; urban, suburban and rural. According to the Census Bureau, fully one-third of young men ages 22 to 34 are still living at home with their parents — a roughly 100 percent increase in the past 20 years. No such change has occurred with regard to young women. Why?"

Why, indeed? High housing costs seems to have become the most commonly accepted explanation. Some young men and women "boomerang" back home for a few years to build up a bank account and plan their futures. Some come from ethnic groups and cultures in which close family ties have produced adult kids who stay home longer.

But, Sax's forthcoming book, "Boys Adrift: What's Really Behind the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys," to be published next year, echoes a new wave of books and articles that express growing concern about boys and young men of all races and classes who languish academically and professionally, while girls and young women have flourished.

It's particularly obvious in college enrollment and academic performance, contrary to the impression left by outgoing Harvard President Larry Summers' controversial speculations about why women hold fewer elite professorships in the sciences than men.

Receiving much less attention than Summers' speculations about whether women might not be as capable as men in math and science was a U.S. Department of Education report released about the same time that found girls outperforming boys academically across the board. Boys were more than 50 percent more likely than girls to repeat grades in elementary school, one-third more likely to drop out of high school, and twice as likely to be identified with a learning disability.

Is something socially, genetically or hormonally happening to sap young men and boys of their will to succeed, even while their female counterparts are doing better than ever? You don't have to be an expert to realize that we tend to have vastly different expectations for boys than for we do for girls — and not without reason. When I recently interrogated my own 16-year-old son, for example, as to why he and his blankety-blank buddies get in more trouble for messing around in class than the girls do, he explained to his clueless daddy that, "Paying attention is a girl thing!"

Nice try, pal. My dad didn't buy that one, either.

Christina Hoff Sommers, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has raised sparks by charging misguided feminism with hurting boys. More study is needed. After all, in this era of high divorce and separation rates at all income levels, an absence of strong male role models could be hurting boys, too. As they might say at NASA, you can't "launch" without a good guidance system.

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© 2006, TMS