The article under discussion is devoted to the problem of inequality and the way it affects the lives of different genders. Claire Cain suggests that boys are generally more sensitive to the unfavorable conditions on which they grow up. She presumes that a disadvantaged childhood is likely to have a stronger impact on boys’ future than on girls’ perspectives (Cain, 2015).
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The author provides the results of research that prove her point of view showing that boys tend to react more eagerly to the injustice they face when being small. It is assumed that the boys’ acute reaction can be explained by the fact that a boy raised by a single mother is apt to respond to the reality differently than a girl that has been left by her father. Cain points out that boys frequently experience discipline problems that are also one of the key factors affecting their future.
A particular emphasis is made on the ethnic issue. The research says that whereas the gap between boys’ and girls’ perception of poverty is almost insignificant in white families, it is enormous for Latino and African children. The researchers insist on the single-parent factor as the determinant reason. They suppose that the lack of a male model results in a highly sensitive attitude to the surrounding events, particularly to those of the negative character. The author depicts an example of a single mother that agrees on the negative consequences of an incomplete family.
Cain suggests that the results of her insights can be equally applied by parent, teachers, and the police in order to find a better approach to understanding children’s psychology and, thus, the motivation for their actions. The author believes that the problem can be solved more efficiently in case it is handled on time.
The article under discussion enlightens a series of acute and important issues. First of all, it raises the problem of social injustice, including wealth inequality, racial injustice, and, to a certain extent, the gender lack of balance.
To begin with, one should point out that there is a wide-spread opinion that social inequality is closely connected to the globalization process (Butler & Wat, 2006). The more people learn about the lives of others, the more criteria they obtain for drawing parallels. Applying this fact to the issue discussed in the article, one can note that the problem of a disadvantaged background is particularly acute when a child enters a social institution such as a kindergarten or a school where he is likely to compare his childhood with one of his classmates.
The supposition that boys have a more sensitive reaction to the inequality can be motivated by the fact that boys are more apt to have a significant focus on the material issues, while girls, as a rule, tend to concentrate on the family and relationships aspects as the criteria for one’s prosperity. Therefore, the phenomenon described can be based on two determining factors. First of all, it is the multi-social context within which a child has to live. Secondly, it is the psychological peculiarity that makes boys more perceptive to the disadvantaged factor in general.
Another point discussed in the article is the social stereotypes and prejudices that have a serious impact on the boys’ perspectives. It has been widely proved that a set behavior model is likely to have a significant influence on an individual’s life, determining his self-esteem and targeting (Kirby, 2000). Social requirements for males are frequently stricter than those for females that create powerful psychological pressure on gender.
Thus, a boy that comes from a poor family might think himself initially disadvantaged in comparison to the boys who come from a wealthy background. The socially stated need to be strong and prosperous, capable of putting bold aims and then reaching them, can turn a boy’s life into a constant competition where his lack of money will be treated as a crucial drawback apt to prevent him from self-realization.
The problem of racial inequality that Cain raises has been widely discussed for the past decades. Despite the fact that there has been evident progress in the right’s protection of Afro-Americans and Latinas, certain uneasiness and tension are still felt when it comes to the issue’s consideration.
Apart from the objective criteria, according to which Latino families prove to be significantly less wealthy than others, there is also a psychological implication that is of similar importance as the money matter. Whereas racial difference problem is tolerated by adults, children usually show less tact in the questions of ethics and origin (McLeod, Lawler, & Schwalbe, 2014). Hence, a boy that comes from an Afro-American or a Latina family might be initially confused and experience extra concern contrary to his classmates.
One is to point out that the problem of ethnic discomfort can be solved before a child goes to school in case his parents pay enough attention to the relevant matter. It is crucial that a boy is aware of the roots and the cultural traditions of his nation by the age he becomes a student so that he can share his knowledge with his new friends, instead of being ashamed of his roots.
The last but not the least is the problem of an incomplete family enlightened in the article. It is interesting that the author suggests that this factor influences boys and girls to a different extent (Cain, 2015). In order to understand this phenomenon, one is to note that, according to the statistics, a single-parent is normally represented by a mother. Therefore, the relations in the family without an adult male are apt to have a more powerful impact on a boy’s psychology than on a girl’s perception (Butler & Wat, 2006).
It can be explained by the model necessity a child experiences. While a girl can still pursue her mother’s behavioral line, a boy is left without any sample schemes around him. The only male model he has in front of him is obviously negative because of the father’s betrayal. The worst thing about it is that a child, particularly a boy, is likely to project his father’s mistakes in himself; thus, he will feel guilty and disadvantaged. It is also suggested that a single-parent mother tends to spend more time with a daughter rather than a son as they find more common topics for discussion and can have more interests to share. For this reason, a boy might feel lonely and abandoned that will possibly complicate his social life at school.
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In conclusion, one should note that the article under discussion brings up an entire complex of social problems. The narrow research has managed to enlighten the questions of incomplete families, wealth and poverty inequality, racial injustice, and many minor problems that might accompany the issue.
Butler, T., & Wat, P. (2006). Understanding Social Inequality. London, Great Britain: SAGE Publications.
Cain, C. (2015). A Disadvantaged Start Hurts Boys More Than Girls. The New York Times. Web.
Kirby, M. (2000). Sociology in Perspective. Oxford, Great Britain: Heinemann.
McLeod, J., Lawler, E., & Schwalbe, M. (2014). Handbook of the Social Psychology of Inequality. New York, New York: Springer.