I think we miss the point if we do not come to terms with the fact that, in our frenzy to improve education, we have pushed kids to work much more than they should. We've allowed the school to co-op the home with increasingly large amounts of homework to do. Typically, boys are less mature than girls, they have more difficulty sitting still and paying attention, and, although they are better at gross motor functions, they are weaker than girls in their fine motor coordination. The notion that they will come home, at young ages, to mountains of homework which strains their patience and hurts their hands, runs counter to what boys can easily do. I don't think a misguided notion of masculinity creates a disinterest in school. I think that pressures to work beyond reason as young children, creates a negative feeling about school. In the past, kids went to school and then came home to play, or at most, to light amounts of homework. Today, we are forcing kids (in fact forcing them over their own parents' best judgments) to work far too much. This is the primary reason why boys get turned off to school.
For more information on Dr. Goldberg's model, read other postings on this blog, visit his website, The Homework Trap, or read his book, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers.