A few weeks ago I met R, my old neighbor whose boys attend the same middle school and J does. Her oldest goes to high school next year and the youngest is in sixth grade like J. We were chatting about the transition experience and how things went for her oldest; she mentioned how peer pressure worked differently for boys than it did for girls at this age.
According to R, the girls had it a lot harder than the boys. I have heard variations on this theme from other parents have to wonder how J will fare. Many women I know have told me that middle school was the worst part of their school years. Reading this David Brooks op-ed piece on why men fail made we wonder if the advantage boys seem have in their adolescent years fades over time. Particularly interesting is the idea that men have become victims of the superior position in the social totem pole :
This theory has less to do with innate traits and more to do with social
position. When there’s big social change, the people who were on the
top of the old order are bound to cling to the old ways. The people who
were on the bottom are bound to experience a burst of energy. They’re
going to explore their new surroundings more enthusiastically.