Boys’ Development


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Boys’ Development

  1. 1. Boys’ Development Boys’ gender treatment – a major issue Theories: 1)male separation trauma from mom and poor male figure identification and modeling (Chodrow,N)
  2. 2. Boys’ Development 2) boys dominate classroom ,leading to lag in girls’ development ( an issue of female self esteem in 1990s) ( Gilligan,C) 3)raised with problematic ideals and alienation (Pollock,W) 4) Innate goodness of boys despite harm from feminism ( Hoff Sommers,C)
  3. 3. 1981 “MYTH OF MASCULINITY” by Dr. Pleck  Absent childhood models  Maternal separation  Need for autonomy  Inherent isolation  Dysfunctional rearing  Constraining, inconsistent upbringing
  4. 4. Maternal Separation Studies
  5. 5. These are class based theories!! May not apply to all SES levels, ethnicities
  6. 6. How have boys progressed? Remember girls have benefited from major social advances Girls’ changes boys’ changes  Feminism  Self esteem initiatives  Legislation  Focus on male predatory behavior  Title 9  Male backlash  Under achievement in school  Increased drop outs  More suicides  Family dysfunction  Emotional disorders  Decreased funding  Under achievement in school  Increased drop outs  More suicides  Family dysfunction  Emotional disorders  Decreased funding
  7. 7. Pollock ( Real Boys) at Harvard: gender disadvantages  Early disconnect at 5-6 years old  2nd disconnect at adolescent stage  Boy code with gender stereotypes  Sublimated feelings:isolation, alienation,silence, loneliness
  8. 8. Problems  Depression  Suicides  Under achieved academics  Poor reading  Poor writing  67% of special ed. Classes = boys  10X more emotional disorders
  9. 9. So, one group of researchers has made boys sound alienated, prone to depression………….and a bunch of loose cannons!  Boys actually do need: energy and competition and daring  In colleges only 45% students boys  In AP courses, less boys  Among African-Americans, sex disparity is even worse with college BAs 63% WOMEN
  10. 10. Solutions?  Promote male heroes  Male only classes  Adventure literature  Activity emphasis  Less emphasis on demonization of males
  11. 11. Nice guys = acting badly
  12. 12. Male influential advantages  Dads help to develop controlled behavior  Positive attitudes towards women, by male example  Organizational abilities  Aggression well directed  Interpersonal cooperative ability
  13. 13. Studies poorly done  Some studies use no control group  Boys not from every social stratum  Biased samples  Poorly defined terms  Discrepancies between studies  Male and boy symptoms may vary from girls’ symptoms  Emotive quality not as easily assessed
  14. 14. Common ideas Male mentors enliven and stimulate To regard boys as “toxic” subjects child to negative stereotyping Some essence of maleness may be positive Competition, aggression,winning,group dynamics, side to side communication Love thru action is OK Over dependence on the “mask” of inexpressiveness can harm Boy code exists: oak strong, give ‘em hell,big wheel, no sissy stuff
  15. 15. Common areas Boys and girls benefit from a less gendered society Anger control---helped by male mentor or dad Respect development--- male mentor or dad Generativity--- male mentor or dad Play development---male mentor or dad
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