Risk-taking and substance abuse in boys vs. girls

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Risk-taking and substance abuse in boys vs. girls

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Risk-taking and substance abuse for both boys and girls is certainly a problem. Part of that is because that part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, is the last part to develop. In terms of boys and girls, boys are more likely to engage in risky behavior or substance abuse because their prefrontal cortex develops even later than that of girls. Brain development for girls continues into the 20's and early 30's for males. That very part of the brain that says, "This is a bad idea. This is risky. I could get hurt. I could die from this." That part of the brain isn't developed all the way, so the kids have a crazy, sort of, risk-taking behavior and then they don't have that part of the brain that says, "This isn't a good idea." Boys are more susceptible than girls because of the development of that prefrontal cortex.

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Kelley King

Educational Consultant & Author

Kelley King has been a K-12 public school educator for over 25 years with work in the areas of school administration, gifted education and special education. Kelley is currently the Associate Director of the Gurian Institute and provides on-site and online workshops for parents and teachers internationally. Kelley is a co-author, with Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens, of two books on education: Strategies for Teachings Boys and Girls: A Workbook for Elementary Educators and Strategies for Teaching Boys and Girls: A Workbook for Secondary Educators. Kelley finished her third book entitled Writing the Playbook, a guide for principals on creating schools that honor the unique strengths and characteristics of boys. Kelley is the mother of an 18-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter.

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