By Niobe Way
“Boys are emotionally illiterate and don’t wish intimate friendships.” during this empirically grounded problem to our stereotypes approximately boys and males, Niobe manner unearths the serious intimacy between teenage boys particularly in the course of early and center youth. Boys not just proportion their inner most secrets and techniques and emotions with their closest male acquaintances, they declare that with out them they might cross “wacko.” but as boys develop into males, they develop into distrustful, lose those friendships, and consider remoted and alone.Drawing from 1000s of interviews performed all through youth with black, Latino, white, and Asian American boys, Deep secrets and techniques finds the ways that we have now been telling ourselves a fake tale approximately boys, friendships, and human nature. Boys’ descriptions in their male friendships sound extra like “something out of affection tale than Lord of the Flies.” but in past due formative years, boys suppose they need to “man up” via turning into stoic and self sustaining. susceptible feelings and intimate friendships are for women and homosexual males. “No homo” turns into their mantra.These findings are alarming, given what we all know approximately hyperlinks among friendships and healthiness, or even toughness. instead of a “boy crisis,” means argues that boys are experiencing a “crisis of connection” simply because they reside in a tradition the place human wishes and capacities are given a intercourse (female) and a sexuality (gay), and hence discouraged if you happen to are neither. manner argues that the answer lies with exposing the inaccuracies of our gender stereotypes and fostering those serious relationships and basic human talents. (20110411)
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Extra info for Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection
I don’t see them anymore. ” When asked why he doesn’t see them, Eric says in a very quiet voice, as if to suggest that he doesn’t quite believe what he is about to say, that they transferred to different schools and the boys who remain in his school live too far away for him to see them. When asked about having a best friend, he says, “No, I don’t have any best friends. I was best friends with Keith last year. We don’t even talk anymore. . ” Like the little boy Pierre in Maurice Sendak’s story of the boy who didn’t care, boys who claimed not to care during late adolescence suggested that they cared deeply.
My studies suggest that boys, too, experience a loss during adolescence— but in late adolescence. Boys enter their teenage years with a tremendous desire and capacity to engage in close and intimate friendships with other boys, despite the cultural dictates that discourage such behavior. Yet as they enter manhood, they begin to lose their way. Their emotionally sensitive and astute voices become fearful and wary. Words such as “love” and “happy,” so pervasive in their interviews during early and middle adolescence, give way to expressions of anger and frustration or simply of not caring any longer.
Thick culture analyses focus on what boys are telling us they need rather than on stereotypic descriptions of boys coming from scholars and other experts whose descriptions may capture a part of boys’ experience but not the whole. , the achievement gap, divorce, suicide). , based on a hypothesis), which is not necessarily consistent with what we actually see or feel. , competition) may not be the same thing as what they want, and while boys may report lower levels of intimacy in their friendships than girls, they still have emotionally intimate male friendships.
Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection by Niobe Way