Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons From The Myths Of Boyhood

Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons From The Myths Of Boyhood

  • Publish Date: 1999-04
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: William Pollack
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Owl Books
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Based on William Pollack's groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School over two decades, Real Boys explores this generation's "silent crisis": why many boys are sad, lonely, and confused although they may appear tough, cheerful, and confident. Pollack challenges conventional expectations about manhood and masculinity that encourage parents to treat boys as little men, raising them through a toughening process that drives their true emotions underground. Only when we understand what boys are really like, says Pollack, can we help them develop more self-confidence and the emotional savvy they need to deal with issues such as depression, love and sexuality, drugs and alcohol, divorce, and violence.

Just as Reviving Ophelia opened our eyes to the challenges faced by adolescent girls, Real Boys helps us hear and respond to the needs of growing boys. ?Judith Jordan, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Featuring a new preface by the author on how parents can make a difference.

Listening to the author William Pollack read Real Boys, it doesn't take long to find out that being a boy these days isn't all fun and games. As codirector of the Center for Men at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical Center, Pollack has seen behind the stoic masks of troubled, modern boys as they struggle to cope with the mixed messages, conflicting expectations, and increasingly complex demands they receive from our evolving society. "New research shows that boys are faring less well ... that many boys have remarkably fragile self-esteem, and that the rates of both depression and suicide in boys are frighteningly on the rise."

What are parents to do? They could start by listening to the author's thoughts on contemporary child-rearing techniques, analysis of the root causes of many male behavior problems, and recommendations for avoiding all-too-common pitfalls. In Real Boys, Pollack draws upon nearly two decades of research to support his theories and makes an impressive assault on the popular myths surrounding the conventional definition of masculinity.

While listening to Real Boys, it is important to remember that Pollack is a psychologist, not a professional narrator. His enunciation is less than perfect and his reading sometimes strikes a clinical tone, but his intelligent writing and the obvious concern he holds for this important subject help carry a passionate message and compensate for any vocal shortcomings. (Running time: three hours, two cassettes) --George Laney

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