Childhood Environment and Gender Gaps in Adulthood

November 26, 2017

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


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