Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

by Pbs

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  • Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher's groundbreaking book, exposed the toxic environment faced by adolescent girls in our
    society. Now, from the same publisher, comes Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon and
    Michael Thompson, which does the same for adolescent boys. Boys suffer from a too-narrow definition of masculinity, the
    authors assert as they expose and discuss the relationship between vulnerability and developing sexuality, the "culture
    of cruelty" boys live in, the "tyranny of toughness," the disadvantages of being a boy in elementary school, how boys'
    emotional lives are squelched, and what we, as a society, can do about all this without turning "boys into girls." "Our
    premise is that boys will be better off if boys are better understood--and if they are encouraged to become more
    emotionally literate," the authors assert. As a tool for change, Kindlon and Thompsom present the well-developed "What
    Boys Need," seven points that reach far beyond the ordinary psychobabble checklist and slogan list. Kindlon (researcher
    and psychology professor at Harvard and practicing psychotherapist specializing in boys) and Thompson (child
    psychologist, workshop leader, and staff psychologist of an all-boys school) have created a chilling portrait of male
    adolescence in America. Through personal stories and theoretical discussion, this well-needed book plumbs the well of
    sadness, anger, and fear in America's teenage sons. --Ericka Lutz


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