December 18, 2004

The Emotional Miseducation of Boys

This is a great article: from the Monitor with content from a number of leading edge authors on the topic of the devestating no-win position that's killing our boys... or at least guaranteeing them an uphill battle for the survival of their self-esteem. The article describes just some of the ways, "our culture emotionally cripples boys." Among their findings:

Schools are 'antiboy.' Elementary schools emphasize reading and restrict the activity of young boys, who are generally more active and slower to read than girls. Teachers often discipline boys more harshly than girls. Sensitivity isn't modeled to boys, so they don't learn it.

Fathers tend to demand that their sons act tough, mothers tend to expect boys to be strong and protective and their friends enforce the rule that a boy doesn't cry. And after being taught not to be 'sissies,' boys are then chastised for being insensitive.

Boys hear confusing messages, for example, to embrace an androgynous sex role and yet not become too feminine. At the same time, many boys lose the 'chums' of their boyhood as they enter adolescence. For many teen-age males, distrust of other boys replaces intimate same-sex friendships, recent research suggests."

There is much more in the article, but mostly I get angry and sad when reading through it. But then that's why I'm working on my book! EH

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