Dutch foundation launches campaign to "let boys be boys"

Foundation SIRE's let boys be boys campaign
Foundation SIRE's let boys be boys campaign. (Photo: SIRE / Facebook )

Boys must be given more room to be boys, according to a campaign launched by foundation SIRE this week. 'Boy behavior' like wrestling, fighting and taking risks, is too often discouraged and that is detrimental to boys' development, according to the foundation.

SIRE is a foundation dedicated to brining underexposed topics to the attention of Dutch society.

According to SIRE, in the current society 'boy behavior' is under appreciated. "We sometimes inhibit boys in their behavior, so they learn less from their own experience and that slows their development." Boys should be allowed to develop by discovering themselves, experimenting, taking risks and being rowdy.

The campaign is accompanied with a website on which experts give advice and tips. According to these experts, boys who are constantly slowed down will have lower self-esteem, will lose their motivation and lose concentration faster.

According to the camping, boys are admonished in class three times more than girls for the same behavior. Boys are three times as likely to need special education for kids with behavioral problems. They are four times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls, and are on medication for ADHD five times more often than girls. 

"Boys learn naturally by trying", evolutionary psychologist Mark van Vugt of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam said. "There must be room for it because that type of development is useful when they are grown."

"Boys and girls are equal, but not the same", SIRE director Lucy van der Helm said to broadcaster NOS. "With this campaign, we want to launch a discussion that will hopefully give boys space to develop in the way that suits them best."