“Boys Adrift is a must-read for any parent of boys. This is real science, and Dr. Sax thoroughly uncovers the important health issues that
parents of boys need to be tuned into.”
— Dr. Mehmet Oz, Professor and Vice Chairman, New York Presbyterian
Hospital, Columbia University; and co-author of the bestseller
YOU: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty
“Excellent and informative references and information are provided . . . Powerfully and persuasively presented.”
— The Journal of the American Medical Association; click here to link to the full review
“Startling . . . like a brick thrown through your window.”
— CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation); click here to read the complete post
“Sax, in his pointed, conversational new book, Boys Adrift, reports seeing something new in his medical practice, and hearing something disturbing in the comments after his talks around the nation.
Parents and girlfriends describe boys and young men plastered to the controls of their video games, hostile to school, disconnected from adult men and listless on "academic steroids" prescribed to them for attention deficit disorders.
Sax zeroes in on these maladies . . .Boys Adrift is an important entry into the conversation. This call to reconsider how the boy becomes the man is worth heeding.”
— The Cleveland Plain Dealer; click here to read the full review
“Dr. Sax is the Al Gore of the gender crisis. He has EDUCATED us about the nature and scope of the problem. He has WARNED us about the consequences of doing nothing.
And he has INSPIRED us to take action in our schools and in our communities.”
— Michael Halfin, Huron Heights Secondary School, Newmarket, Ontario
“Boys Adrift presents a straightforward argument that incorporates solid research and, thankfully, does not blame feminism. . .
Sax also makes sure to remind us that he doesn't think girls have it easier.
But at a time when it is almost unusual to find a young man with drive and direction, Sax's work is an important part of a growing public discussion. ”
— The Stranger (Seattle's alternative newspaper); click here to link to the full review -- AND to view
a provocative illustration by artist Kris Chau
“This book is insightful, engaging, and easy to read. It is essential reading for parents of girls and
boys, and for those who expect to become parents. I have passed my copy of the book to my
daughter. The epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving men is real and demands
action; this book provides a carefully researched analysis of the problem and offers useful advice
on how to deal with it.”
— Professor Craig Anderson, Iowa State University
“This is the most important book that I have ever read, and I've read a lot of parenting books. I have purchased ten copies and am giving them as Christmas and birthday gifts to all of my friends who have boys.
I have kept 3 for myself which I am loaning out. This is a must read for anyone who has a boy. ”
— Lisa Morgan-Long, Oakville, Ontario; click here to link to the
Why Gender Matters
What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences
Updates and corrections to Why Gender Matters are available at whygendermatters.com.
by Leonard Sax, MD, PhD
"Until recently, there have been two groups of people: those who argue sex differences are innate and should be embraced and those who insist that they are learned and should be eliminated by changing the environment. Sax is one of the few in the middle -- convinced that boys and girls are innately different and that we must change the environment so differences don't become limitations."
-- TIME Magazine, cover story; click here to read the original story
Praise for Why Gender Matters:
". . . a lucid guide to male and female brain differences. . ."
The New York Times
"When I was a college freshman, a male teaching assistant I sought help from told me matter-of-factly
that women were not good at inorganic chemistry. Had I been armed with Why Gender Matters,
about how biological differences between the sexes can influence learning and behavior,
I could have managed an informed rejoinder to go along with my shocked expression. . . .
Using studies as well as anecdotes from his practice and visits to classrooms,
[Sax] offers advice on such topics as preventing drug abuse and motivating students. . . .
The book is thought-provoking, and Sax explains well the science behind his assertions. . .
[Why Gender Matters] is a worthy read for those who care about how best to prepare children
for the challenges they face on the path to adulthood."
Scientific American Mind
"Convincing. . . Psychologist and family physician Leonard Sax, using 20 years of published research,
offers a guide to the growing mountain of evidence that girls and boys really are different. . .
This extremely readable book also includes shrewd advice on discipline,
and on helping youngsters avoid drugs and early sexual activity.
Sax's findings, insights and provocative point-of-view should be of interest and help to many parents."
-New York Post
“Why Gender Matters is a fabulous resource for teachers and parents.
Dr. Sax combines his extensive knowledge of the research on gender issues with practical advice in cogent,
highly readable prose. I am eager to have my colleagues at school read this book and discuss it!”
—Martha Cutts, Head of School, Agnes Irwin School, Rosemont, Pennsylvania
"As the principal of an elementary school, I am constantly on the lookout for outstanding articles
and books about gender-specific learning differences.
Why Gender Matters is the best I've read."
-John Webster, Head of School, the San Antonio Academy
"Why Gender Matters is an outstanding work of scholarship. I am going to make it our 'faculty read' this summer."
-Paul Krieger, Headmaster, Christ School (North Carolina)
“In this reader-friendly book, Dr. Sax combines his comprehensive knowledge of the scientific literature
with numerous interesting case studies to argue for his thesis that single-sex education is advantageous.”
— Dr. Sandra Witelson, Albert Einstein/Irving Zucker Chair in Neuroscience, McMaster University
“Extremely interesting . . . Challenged many of my basic assumptions and helped me to think about gender in a new way.”
—Joan Ogilvy Holden, Head of School, St. Stephen’s School, Alexandria, Virginia
"I simply will never be able to express how eye-opening this book has been for me.
Yes me -- even though I thought I was a boy-raising specialist. After all, I have produced four healthy and smart athletes. I must know what I'm doing. But many of my boy-raising days I thought I was going mad. I'd come home from some sports event trembling because of the way the coach yelled at my kid. I'd ask my husband and whichever son it happened to be that day how they could stand being yelled at like that. Almost every time husband and son would look at me and not have any recollection of being yelled at during the game. Now I understand!!!!!!!!!"
-Janet Phillips, mother of four boys, Seneca, Maryland
"Why Gender Matters is an instructive handbook for parents and teachers . . .
to create ways to cope with the differences between boys and girls."
-The Boston Globe
"Outstanding book, required reading for any parent."
Timothy Lundeen, father, San Francisco, California
"Fascinating . . . This book is interesting because it takes an 'outside the box' position on gender. Paradoxically, Sax says, gender-neutral education favors the learning style of one sex or the other, and so only drives men and women into the usual stereotyped fields. The best way to raise your son to be a man who is caring and nurturing, says Sax, is to first of all let him be a boy. The best way to produce a female mathematician is to first of all let her be a girl. . . I think Sax is on to something. Mature men and women do draw on qualities that stereotypically belong to the opposite sex. But the easiest way to get them to that point is to first make them confident about being a man or a woman. . . Sax adds that children are less happy and confident nowadays because no one is teaching them how to be men and women. This is a powerful, even obvious insight, once you dare think it. . . In quick succession, with Mary Eberstadt's Home Alone America and Leonard Sax's Why Gender Matters, we've seen two important, creative, and politically incorrect takes on family life and childhood."
-Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online.
Dr. Sax's education and experience
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in biology, Dr. Sax began the combined M.D.-Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Penn in 1986 with a Ph.D. in psychology and the M.D. degree. He went on to do a 3-year residency in family practice at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Since completing that residency in 1989, he has been
in clinical practice as a family physician. In 1990, he
launched private medical practice in suburban Montgomery County, Maryland, about 30 minutes northwest of the District of Columbia. He practiced in the same location,
serving families in the same small town, for 18 years (1990 - 2008). In May 2008, Dr. Sax retired from medical practice in order to devote himself full-time to his work as a writer, a father, and an activist for gender equity (this last category includes
his work leading NASSPE).
Take a look at comments from parents and teachers who have heard Dr. Sax speak
Here follows a partial list of Dr. Sax's other publications, both scholarly and popular. ("Scholarly" publications are intended for an academic audience. "Popular" publications are intended for a general audience.)
Selected popular publications
Child psychiatry is sick with hidden conflicts of interest,
New York Daily News, December 14, 2008.
TWILIGHT sinks its teeth into feminism
Washington Post August 17, 2008.
Dr. Sax's op-ed about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series has prompted many comments. Dr. Sax has posted a response to the bloggers at this link.
Where the Girls Aren't: what the media missed in the AAUW's report on gender equity.
Education Week, June 18 2008.
At this link,
you can read not only Dr. Sax's back-page op-ed for Education Week, but also link to additional resources about the ongoing under-representation of girls in fields such as computer science and engineering.
What's happening to boys?
Washington Post, March 31, 2006.
In his op-ed for the Washington Post March 31 2006, Dr. Sax called attention to the growing phenomenon of the
"Failure to Launch" boy/man: a young man in his 20's, or even his 30's, who is still living at home with his parents --
and who doesn't see what the problem is. The Washington Post invited Dr. Sax to host a one-hour
on-line chat, which broke all previous records for the Washington Post: they shut the
system down after receiving 395 posts. You can read
the transcript of the online chat session here.
The Promise and the Peril of Single-Sex PUBLIC Education,
Education Week, March 2, 2005, pp. 48, 34, 35.
Too Few Women: Figure It Out.
Los Angeles Times, January 23, 2005, p. M5.
Teens Will Speed. Let's Watch Them Do It.
The Washington Post, November 28, 2004, p. B8.
The Odd Couple: Hillary Clinton & Kay Bailey Hutchison
The Women's Quarterly (The Journal of the Independent Women's Forum),
Summer 2002, pp. 14-16.
Single Sex Education: Ready for Prime Time?
The World & I, August 2002, pp. 257-269.
Rethinking Title IX
The Washington Times, July 2 2001, p. A17.
Ritalin: Better living through chemistry?
The World & I, November 2000, 287-299.
Selected scholarly publications
Polyethylene Terephthalate May Yield Endocrine Disruptors.
Environmental Health Perspectives, in press. Full text available online at
NIH / NIEHS website.
Six degrees of separation:
What teachers need to know about the emerging science of sex differences.
Educational Horizons, 84:190-212, Spring 2006. Available online here.
The Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD in Women.
The Female Patient, 29:29-34, November 2004.
Dietary Phosphorus Is Toxic for Girls But Not for Boys.
Invited chapter, in: Annual Reviews in Food & Nutrition (Victor Preedy, editor), Taylor & Francis Publishers, London, UK, 2003, Chapter 8, pp. 158-168.
Who First Suggests the Diagnosis of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
A survey of primary-care pediatricians, family physicians, and child psychiatrists
[with Kathleen J. Kautz RN, BSN].
Annals of Family Medicine, 2003, 1:171-174. Available online here.
What Was the Cause of Nietzsche's Dementia?
Journal of Medical Biography, Royal Medical Society, London, February 2003, 11:47-54. Available online here.
How Common Is Intersex?
The Journal of Sex Research, August 2002, 39(3):174-178. Available online here.
Maybe Men and Women Are Different.
American Psychologist, July 2002, pp. 444-445.
The Institute of Medicine's ‘Dietary Reference Intake' for Phosphorus: a critical perspective.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 20(4):271-278, 2001.
Reclaiming Kindergarten: making kindergarten less harmful to boys.
Psychology of Men and Masculinity, American Psychological Association, 2(1):3-12,
2001. Available online here.
Characteristics of spatiotemporal integration in the priming and rewarding effects of medial forebrain bundle stimulation.
Behavioral Neuroscience, 105(6):884-900, 1991.
[with C. R. Gallistel]
Temporal integration in self-stimulation: a paradox.
Behavioral Neuroscience, 98(3):467-8, 1984.
If you have any questions, comments, complaints, concerns, whatever, please call us, e-mail us, send us a letter, send us a fax. Here's how:
E-mail: send e-mail to NASSPE.
Snail mail: send regular mail to NASSPE, 64 East Uwchlan Avenue, #259, Exton, Pennsylvania 19341.
Fax: send a fax to 610 993 3139.
Telephone: call us at 610 296 2821. For questions about conference registration or other billing matters, ask for Katie Kautz; for questions about single-sex education, ask to speak with Dr. Sax.
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