This paper begins by establishing the veracity of the perception that boys underperform relative to girls in literacy attainment. A discussion of the reasons for this disparity follows, considering biological and societal arguments. The paper goes on to discuss approaches that can combat these issues and improve outcomes for boys in literacy. It is argued that selecting texts and media which affirm male readers’ validity will increase investment from male learners. The paper concludes by commenting on the gender imbalance of the early years workforce, and its impact on the attainment of male learners.