It's a great old photo. The boy -- elated and wide-eyed, arms outstretched -- seems to be flying through the air, his cape flapping in the wind behind him. He's an invincible superhero, impervious to risk.
The photo is captivating. The problem is, as the boy grew up, he actually believed he was invincible, just like most adolescent boys. They're more likely than girls to think they're immune to risk, when they actually have greater risks.
Boys aren't alone in thinking this. Their parents believe it too and even reinforce this belief.
The fact is, boys are far more likely than girls to get sick or injured. Each day in the U.S., 18 boys under age 15 die, three times the number of girls. And tragically, nearly all these deaths are violent; the result of injury, suicide or homicide.
Despite these facts, studies show parents think boys are less vulnerable to risk than girls, and show this misperception is based on gender stereotypes.