Childhood Environment and Gender Gaps in Adulthood

A group of researchers found that childhood disadvantage is especially harmful for boys.

© 2016 by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Frina Len, Jeremy Majerovitz, and Benjamin Scuderi.

Their summary: Boys who grow up in poor families in highly segregated neighborhoods have much lower employment rates than girls who grow up in the same environment.

My Take: “People often are what they live” “Poverty can turn young Boys into Jobless Men”

- Boys in concentrated and from generational poverty (200 years) have limited employment opportunities and often seek alternative, quasi-legal and ultimately criminal paths to income.

- Boys with single parent (most often women) lack successful male/father figure within the home to serve as a model for becoming a valued productive male in the family and community.

- Families in concentrated poverty experience a ‘Virtual Plantation’ where true access to the outside is absent (males feel unwelcomed, an estranged ‘other’, and lacking wealth).

- Boys in generational poverty have historical sense of marginalization/devaluation of males and limited opportunities with major challenges to overcome.

- Boys in poverty experience, from an early age, low expectation from family, community, and individuals in the school systems; and watching (stalking) from police, guards, and shopkeepers.

- Generational poverty breeds a local dialect (speech patterns) learned from family and community who have had limited interaction with the world outside of the ‘Virtual Plantation’.

My Action: “Provide rich and varied OPPORTUNITIES, to enhance experiences and growth”

- Offer opportunities to boys in Middle School age, when self-awareness and self-value develops.

- Select those boys in poor families who may have fewer enrichment opportunities than others.

- Select those boys making the lowest grades, among them are geniuses whom society need.

- Send them the message that they are welcome in this place, and we believe in their future.

- Begin with boys who are an endangered-species in (Black, Hispanic,) expand to all boys in concentrated poverty and lacking opportunities during these critical developmental years.

Outcomes and Benefits: “Healthy Boys Lead to Healthy Men, Families and Communities”

- Boys growing with a sense of personal worth and value to their communities.

- Girls have a growing population of healthy boys/men/leaders with whom to partner and build wholesome families, communities and future generations.

Dr. Carlessia A. Hussein

“Healthy Societies Can Make a Difference”

November 12, 2017