Putting the “Boy” Back Into Boyhood

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When I was a boy back in the 1960’s, the girl next door “had” to go to nursery school.  While we were out running around, playing, and having a good time, we occasionally wondered what was wrong with her.  It had to be pretty bad for her to have to go to school before kindergarten!  We felt sorry for her!Today, so many kids go to pre-school that if you don’t, your friends wonder what’s wrong with you.  Part of the reason for the rise and “imperative” of pre-school is that US students are incr … [Read more...]

Can’t Girls be Superheroes, too?

iStock_000010304538XSmall[1] - boy superhero

You get the best out of a boy by stimulating his desire for greatness and then telling him he has a long way to go: that he can perhaps achieve something marvelous but he must be humble and work hard for it.                                    --Roy F. Baumeister, Is There Anything Good About Men?I receive some occasional pushback on the connection between boys and heroes, and my emphasis on calling boys into heroic manhood. The pushback goes something like this:            Why does b … [Read more...]

The New “Gender” Math? More Women+Less Men=A Better World?

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A few weeks ago, in the early days of the latest Government “crisis” over the shutdown and debt ceiling, Piers Morgan interviewed two women, one of them actress Sharon Stone, about a documentary they were promoting focused on bringing equality to girls and women around the world.  It was an insightful, positive interview about a very important global topic.At one point, Piers asked a question that lately has been asked a lot: Would the world be better off with less male leaders and more fema … [Read more...]

“Re-Stereotyping” Boys, Part 2: Character

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As I mentioned in my last two posts, in our well-intentioned desire to rescue our boys (and girls) from boy stereotypes, we have unintentionally robbed boys of any vision for what it means to be a boy.  And with no vision for boyhood, boys have no sense of what it means to be a man.Just because something is a stereotype doesn’t mean it’s not true or that it can’t be helpful.  In fact, one of the ways we can reclaim the “boy” in “boyhood” is to re-embrace some powerful, life-shaping stereotype … [Read more...]

“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 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...]


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