A Review of “The Minds Of Boys”

A Review of “The Minds Of Boys”

A Michael Gurian, Kathy Stevens book, published by Jossey-Bass, reviewed by Reg Adkins.

Michael Gurian begins the book by describing the current crisis in the education of boys. He takes careful steps to note the indicators of this crisis in detail noting facts including


  • boys get the majority of D’s and F’s
  • boys make up 80% of the discipline problems
  • boys make up 70% of the “learning disabled” students
  • boys make up 80% of the “behavior disordered” students
  • boys make up 80% of the children on Ritalin, et. al.
  • boys are a year to a year and a half behind girls in reading and writing
  • boys make up 80% of the high school drop outs
  • boys make up less than 44% of the college population

One must admit those are pretty stark facts.

The authors stipulate that these weaknesses developed as the result of the paradigm shift designed to make education more receptive to girls several decades ago.


The authors continue on to point out this is not a phenomena specific to the United States. Similar data is noted in England, Canada, Australia, Germany, France and Japan. Further, the authors state boys are outperformed by girls in thirty-five of the developed countries.

The next section of the book is dedicated to examining the functionality of the male brain and how it differs from the female in the processing of information.


At this point the book undertakes the examination a series of instructional techniques designed to compensate for the deficiencies in the current educational practices which highly favor girls. The theme of which is movement inclusive instructional methods.

Further, the book breaks the techniques into practices that may be applied by parents to stimulate brain function in boys. The follow-up is an examination of how teachers may implement these changes in the classrooms.


All in all, it is a pretty good read that has some excellent insight into (you guessed it) the minds of boys. However, I was struck by the frequent references to instructional techniques for girls. They seemed out of place. I don’t believe if I had read a book entitled “The Minds of Girls” it would have contained nearly as many references to techniques for boys.

The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life

Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (

More by this author

5 Tips for Empathetic Listening Book Review: You Were Born Rich Cyber Stalking Becoming a Great Leader Motivating Others: Becoming a Great Leader #2

Trending in Communication

1 7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life 2 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On 3 What Is Your Destiny in Life? How to Mindfully Achieve Your Purpose 4 7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck 5 10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever

Read Next


Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.


2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?


These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?


You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …


7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via


Read Next