Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Boys With Guns - Dr. Leonard Sax

The January 12th issue of MacLean's has an interview with Dr. Leonard Sax, author of a new book called Boys Adrift.
In addition to advocating separate schools for boys and girls, starting boys a year later in kindergarten, and other hot sports opinions, Dr. Sax lays out this gem:

MacLean's: A lot of schools ban any kind of pretend gun play, sword fighting and so on. Is this bad for boys?

Sax: Policies which ban children from playing with pretend swords or toy guns are not grounded in any research findings demonstrating that those policies accomplish anything good. Prohibiting children from playing with toy swords or guns does not decrease the likelihood of any bad outcome, indeed it accomplishes no useful end. The school could have taken the opportunity to build imaginative play around concepts like teamwork and heroism. Instead, schools too often simply endorse traditional girls' activities while condemning traditional boys' activities.

When asked about "zero tolerance" policies, he goes on: "Zero-tolerance policies essentially say the entire school is out of bounds for anything that smells of boys. The result, too often, is boys who find a vent for those impulses by spending hours sitting in front of their video game consoles, banging away on the game controller."

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