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To Raise a Boy

Emma Brown

To Raise a Boy

by Emma Brown

To Raise a Boy

Emma Brown

5 min
3 key insights
Visual, audio & text

To Raise a Boy: Classrooms, Locker Rooms, Bedrooms, and the Hidden Struggles of American Boyhood is a masterful account of how and why society fails boys just as it has failed girls.

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To Raise a Boy

by Emma Brown

To Raise a Boy

Emma Brown

Overview

'Boys don't cry.' 'Don't act like a girl.' 'Take it like a man.' In their time, every boy or man has heard a version of these statements. Whether it comes from family, friends, schoolmates, coaches, teachers, or the television, these messages - which subtly reinforce hyper-masculine stereotypes - pervade our culture.

Such messages tell children of all genders that boys are expected to behave a certain way – that they're not supposed to express emotion, particularly tenderness, vulnerability, or insecurity. Those qualities are 'for girls.' What's more, because they're 'feminine,' those qualities are - wrongly and dangerously - deemed inferior.

In To Raise a Boy, Washington Post journalist Emma Brown superbly weaves the hundreds of interviews she's conducted with boys and men of all backgrounds together with academic research and historical and cultural context. The result is an unflinching view of how society feeds boys the messages that shape and damage their emergence into manhood.

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"The stereotypes and pressures that boys face threaten their physical and mental health, their ability to navigate their inner lives and interpersonal relationships, and even their academic success."

Emma Brown

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To Raise a Boy

Emma Brown

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