From education and achievement to mental health and well-being to violence and aggression, the ‘state of boys’ has long been a feature of UK (and global) educational, societal and political debate. Against this backdrop, a raft of evidence-based research has not only contested the notion of a singular ‘state’ of boys, but also complicated the category of ‘boy’ and, therefore, what it means to be a boy today. As a result, there is a need for more nuanced conversations about how to positively engage boys for gender equality, as allies in racial justice, for individuals of all cross-gender affiliations and for their own well-being. Through critical and forensic analysis of available UK and international data relating to the state of boys aged 4-13, alongside interviews conducted with experts in the field, the inaugural State of UK Boys report reconsiders how we can better hold these conversations and promote healthy masculinities and gender equality.
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