Which got me thinking about boys and healthcare. Boys have plenty of health risks. They're:
- 3 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD
- 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism
- More likely to have asthma, headaches and depression, at least pre-puberty. (After puberty, girl experience more asthmatic episodes, headaches and depression than boys.)
- More likely to experience sports injuries, after puberty
But by the time they're teens, boys rarely visit the doctor. Why? Lack of insurance is surely part of the issue; millions of American boys are uninsured. Millions more are under-insured. For them, visiting the doctor means forgoing some other necessity.
Millions of boys also believe that seeing a doctor somehow makes them less manly. Research has shown that men who embrace traditional beliefs about masculinity are 50% less likely to go to the doctor. Somehow, these men have confused strength with stupidity.
So how do we break the cycle? How do teach our boys to value their health? Any ideas?