Anthony Esolen has responded via e-mail to my post below on boys. He has some excellent practical advice, which he has given me permission to post. In my opinion, getting a boy out of the public schools should be priority #1 for parents.
Over the last twenty years I've met and taught about two thousand freshmen, in Providence College's Development of Western Civilization Program. When you meet so many students in a big room, every day of the week for a year, you not only get a decent impression of a cross section of the freshman class (about one fifth of it, at our school), you also have a chance to evaluate what sorts of backgrounds are producing what sorts of students. I've found that if a young man speaks forthrightly to me, looks me in the eye, and takes an interest in something other than regions below his belt, he has been, about nine times in ten, homeschooled, or a graduate of an all-male Catholic school. Over and over I have found this to be the case. In other words, sometimes all that's required for health to return to the body is to remove it from the poisonous atmosphere. I'm intrigued, for instance, by the math scores of homeschoolers; not that homeschoolers distinguish themselves particularly well in that subject, as compared to what students seventy years ago used to do in math. But once you take boys out of school, they resume their modest but appreciable superiority in math, and they rise up to the level of their sisters in verbal ability. And if you take your boys out of the feminist-dominated schools (and it really is difficult to overestimate just how deeply entrenched feminism is in the schools, from the coed gym classes to the history textbooks) and place them in an all-boys school (where, for example, they might study the battle plans of Hannibal), they breathe more easily, they can be themselves, and they can be hammered into shape if need be -- as they themselves will be the first to tell you. So my first recommendation is pretty simple. Trust the health of the boy's nature, and take him out of the poison. Oh, by the way, that will mean doing something to the television, too.