“Re-Stereotyping” Boys–Part 1: Boy Biology

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Faster than a speeding bullet… More powerful than a turbo jet engine… Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound… Look, up in the sky…it’s a bird…it’s a plane… It’s a boy! In my last post I suggested that our attempts to get rid of boy stereotypes has left our boys without any idea of what it means to be a boy.  We’ve robbed them (and us) of any vision of boyhood and haven’t replaced it with anything of substance.I also suggested that just because something’s a stereotype doesn’t mean … [Read more...]

The Troubling “De-Stereotyping” of Boys

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Prince Jake was kind and caring. Princess Rose was brave and strong. --from A Fairy Tale, by Lego Books What makes a boy a boy?Seems no one really knows anymore.  We’ve spent so much time as of late trying to free boys of “boy stereotypes” that we no longer really know what “boy” means.  In fact, many in our culture have spent so much energy criticizing “stereotypical” boy behavior that boys who may fit that stereotype are made to feel bad about themselves.For example, some boy experts … [Read more...]

Could the Church be the Best Hope for Our Boys?

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These are tough days to be a boy!Boys are falling behind girls in virtually every area of education from pre-school to college The average reading skills of a 17 year old boy have declined in the last 20 years 17-18 of the top 20 growing professions favor the verbal and relational skills of women over men Boys are growing up in a world without a compelling vision for noble manhoodThese are tough days to be the Church:Sexual scandals in the Catholic Church Angry, fringe … [Read more...]

No Girls Allowed! Why Boys Need Boy Space

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During a recent men’s retreat a couple of us men we’re talking about boys and specifically the issue of boys’ and girls’ “space.”  The first comment came from a dad whose wife insists that whatever he buys for his 2 year old son he needs to buy for his 4 year old daughter.  She doesn’t want them treated any differently.  If he buys his son a toy gun, then he should buy one for his 4 year old daughter.  If he buys him a GI Joe action figure, then he should buy one for his 4 year old daughter.  (In … [Read more...]

The 50 “Boy-less” White House Years (And Why They Might Matter to 21st Century Boys)

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When was the last time a little boy was living in and running around the White House (and I mean a real little boy…not a President acting like a boy)?President Obama? Raising two girls President Bush? His two girls grew up in the White House President Clinton? His daughter grew up in the White House President H. Bush? His sons were grown men President Carter? His daughter grew up in the White House President Ford? Nope President Nixon? Nope President Johnson? Nope President K … [Read more...]

The Tyranny of Sameness–Robbing Boys of their Boy-ness

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For all of the great advances women, in particular, have experienced thanks to the Women’s Movement, one of the consequences, intended or unintended, is the confusion between “equal” and “sameness,” or the misunderstanding of differentness. Understandably, because girls and women were so far behind in the 60’s and 70’s, it was important to stress that girls and women were not only equal to boys and men, but that they could also do anything boys and men can do. Equal, however, came to mean “the sa … [Read more...]

Protecting the Self-Esteem of Boys

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This is a post written by my two good friends, Michael Gurian and Gregg Jantz, adapted from their soon to be released, must-read book, RAISING BOYS BY DESIGN, by Gregory Jantz, Michael Gurian, and Anne McMurray (Waterbrook, September, 17, 2013)Everywhere we turn, people are wondering how to protect a child’s self-esteem. In few areas today is this question more prevalent than in our cultural conversations about how to help boys grow up to be loving, wise, and successful men.  In our new b … [Read more...]

The Short-Sighted Battle to Tame Boys

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Is (Aslan)—quite safe? “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” During a men’s retreat a few weeks ago one of the older men complained: All women want to do is tame men!There’s a loaded statement!I offered a couple of responses:On the one hand I said, “Can you blame them?  When you look at the way men and boys have been behaving, and the destruction they are le … [Read more...]


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