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Very important subject and well written book about boys and sex and how THEY see things ( ages approximately 16 to 22 ) and unfortunately the pressures they are under and the bad information and “ locker room “ talk and feeling as if they have no one to appropriately discuss sexual information with . It would take some serious discussion and a shifting of attitudes requiring all information and serious questions and proper discussions to repair , and a better approach to a more serious discussion about boys and young men’s feelings about sex and young relationships. Good male role models with maybe older mature men AND women may begin to address these problems and issues. Worth the read for parents, sex education teachers and possibly therapists and in general people who have sons and daughters who are concerned with getting good thoughtful caring information to teenaged boys .
I noticed a few years ago that among boys I’d known most of their lives, by the time they got to junior high, there was only one acceptable way to be a boy. These boys were forced to shoehorn themselves into a narrow box of masculine behavior, and it was so sad to watch. I’ve since seen the studies showing that the boys who most internalize these behaviors are more likely to binge-drink, be in car accidents, suffer depression, and even die by suicide. This book suggests some concrete ways to parent/coach/teach our boys, and help them live happier, healthier lives.
If the idea of discussing sex, relationships, and societal norms around masculinity makes you uncomfortable, imagine how uncomfortable it would be to have to call an attorney to try to get your son out of trouble. Parents, we have to do better for our kids than one quick conversation with vague instructions like “Respect women.” My favorite thing about this book is her empathy toward the boys she interviews. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
Orenstein's focus is entirely on the males who attend college (30% of "boys"). As a very recent graduate, my experience was much different than the boys Orenstein interviewed.
While there are parties and drinking, a majority of students spend more time at study. STEM courses are difficult and you can't coast. Many students are in a relationship and don't indulge in parties or binge drinking.
"Boys" who don't come from wealth take summer employment not in the service industry, but in unpleasant but relatively well paying jobs as summer relief (slaughterhouses, construction, assembly line). The experience of young men who are permanently stuck in that work is radically different than the privileged kids Orenstein described. The boys and men in manual labor jobs are referred to by women as "dusters" and they are less appealing to women.
As a walk-on collegiate athlete (volleyball), almost all discussion in the locker room was focused on the game, not about women. There is travel time but sports cut into academic life so it is best to use the time to study.
Peggy Orenstein has written what is sure to become a literary touchstone of the decade. Her unflinching look inside hookup culture and the world of online porn serves as a wakeup call to parents and educators in the #MeToo era. After chronicling the issues facing girls for 25 years, Orenstein turns her attention to boys, who also suffer--but in different ways--from patriarchal norms and expectations, to their emotional detriment. I couldn't put the book down. As an educational psychologist and consultant, I am thrilled to place this new book at the top of my list of resources I suggest to parents and teachers. "Boys & Sex" is going to change our culture for the better, to the benefit of kids of all genders...and the adults who love them. I could not recommend it more highly!
This is a must read for parents of today’s teenage boys. I borrowed the audiobook version from my library on a Sunday, finished it by Tuesday and had the hardback delivered from Amazon by Thursday. Since then I have spoken to at least two dozen parents about it. My childhood coming of age in the 90’s as one of three girls was so vastly different from my sons’. This is a guideline to many future conversations in the journey to my boys becoming men. I am so thankful to had read this. Thank you Peggy for all the work you put into this. Thank you to the young men who took the time and opened up to Peggy.
I highly recommend this book! Orgenstein does a masterful job of presenting the stories of North American teen and young adults in the 21st century: the pressure to blend in, the aversion to awkwardness, the role alcohol plays in hookup culture, and the intentional ambiguity of the term "hookup". She intentionally includes the experience of the queer community and those of African, Asian, and Latino descent. While Orgenstein mostly focuses on the experiences of young men who have done harm, either wittingly or unwittingly, she does also include the perspective of those who have been assaulted themselves, and includes some frank discussion of male anatomy and misconceptions therein. Throughout it all, Orgenstein challenges assumptions, focuses on the importance of language and relationships, and suggests some paths forward to break the cycle.
This book isn't just great, it's necessary. So many people are talking about boys -- what they think, what they say, why they do the things they do -- but very few people bothered to ask them directly. Peggy Orenstein did that and the answers she received are equal parts terrifying, enlightening, and essential if we're ever going to positively reframe manhood. Wondering why men belittle women in the locker room, call everything bad "gay," and can't seem to connect with other men? Read this book and find out straight from the source. This should be required reading for everyone--not just boys or parents of boys. Because this impacts all of us, and Orenstein captures it by doing the important work of actually talking to our boys.
Working with college students, often supporting both women and men throught the conduct process at a university, "Girls and Sex" was a powerful confirmation and critique of what plays out on campuses, college and high schools. The 2016 book provided insights not only to the challenges our young women were confronting, but the ways that we were also failing both boys and girls. Orenstein's latest book gives you the opportunitity to hear from boys themselves and challenges parents, educators and all humans to do a better job in helping our kids to experience the fullness of their own lives - the relationships, the heart breaks, the joy, and all the lessons learned along the way.
Having previously read Girls and Sex, I expected this to have insights on the ways boys are conditioned to think about sex and about female sexuality in a damaging way. I also expected there to be focus on how to help prevent and undo damaging conditioning.
Unfortunately, the content of this book was much more shallow than expected and avoids the root cause of sexual conflict: sexual double standards. While she talks about issues with consent, she doesn’t talk about how cultural framing of female sexuality as passive and “good girls” as sexually restrained impacts this.
At one point, she suggests many parents would rather stick a fork in their eyes than tell their sons about the clitoris. Rather than explain how absurd this is when parents can easily discuss the penis and even the vagina, she presents it as simply understandable and normal.
Most disappointingly, she fails to address how the fork-in-eye response to simply acknowledging girls/women as sexually agentic beings just like boys/msn is at the root of all the negative experiences she talks about in the book.
Men and women, boys and girls, all might find this carefully researched book a journey of revelation, discovering how we came to have such disfunctional relationships between the sexes, and how difficult it is to break established patterns of thinking and behavior, even when faced with the disasters we create for ourselves. Most of all, I think every parent, every teacher, pastor, counselor, mentor should read and learn to recognize the pitfalls of current social conditioning, and how they might shift the toxic gender biases that damage so many people growing up.