More and more boys are calling care phones



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More and more boys are using the nationwide care telephone number against grief. However, there are clear differences between boys and girls in the top positions in the subject areas.

According to a study by the Berlin social scientist Klaus Hurrelmann, more and more boys are using the “number against grief” care telephone. According to the study results, the proportion of male children and adolescents has increased by 15 percent in the past ten years.

Nationwide, a pastoral care number “number against grief” is offered for children, adolescents and adults. According to a social science study by expert Klaus Hurrelmann, the proportion of boys rose from almost 25 percent in 2000 to almost 40 percent in 2009. "So far, there has hardly been any boy or young man looking for help on his own initiative," said scientist Hurrelmann when the study was presented in Berlin. In view of these figures, a changing role behavior and an increasing willingness of the boys and men to be recognized, to open up to the outside world and to talk about their problems.

Differences in the range of topics among boys and girls Boys primarily talk about sexuality, girls and young women tend to talk about their concerns and problems regarding love and partnerships. Both of these topics occupy top positions in the respective different genders. "This shows the different sensations and expectations with which both genders discover eroticism and relationships for themselves," summed up Prof. Hurrelmann, chair of "Public Health and Education" at the "Hertie School of Governance" in Berlin. There are overlaps in ranks two, four and five in the subject areas "Problems of a Personal Kind", "Friends and Friends" and "Problems in the Family". Third place for boys is “partnership and love” and for girls “sexuality”.

Differences between girl and boy topics are particularly evident in the first ten ranks. Sexual practices, boredom, body / appearance and homosexuality are at the top of the boys list, shaping partnership and love at the bottom. The results for the girls look very different. Here are the top issues of lovesickness, being in love, desire to contact and shaping partnership. Topics such as “boredom” (9th place) and “enthusiasm” (10th place) are less common among girls than among boys.

80 percent of the callers are children between 11 and 16 years of age. The study is the third of its kind. In 2005 and 2007, evaluations were made that were based on call logs from anonymous callers of the "number against grief". A total of two million calls were evaluated. 80 percent of the callers were between 11 and 16 years old. According to Hurrelmann, the anonymous data on the care phone over the past ten years is an “unbelievable treasure of data”. The data could be used to create a kind of "seismograph" for changing attitudes and lifestyles of young people. In this way, social developments and trends can be recognized and researched at an early stage.

20 years "number against grief" The "number against grief" is over 20 years old and was first put into operation in 1980. The youth telephone can be reached all over Germany on the free number 0800-1110333. The project is run by a total of 4,000 volunteers. Over three million children, adolescents and adults have already made use of the advisory telephone call. In 2009 alone, around 233,000 people called. During thousands of conversations, constructive approaches and help have already been imparted.

The Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Hermann Kues (CDU), therefore described the results as a positive sign. More and more boys would dare to share their problems with other people. This is a signal to promote and support boys more intensively in the future. The task should be taken over by society as a whole. (sb)

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Photo credit: Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de

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