Frequently in Learning Works, we have looked at men’s health and wellbeing, and also at older men’s learning and the involvement of men around Australia in the Men’s Shed movement. But what about our boys – how are they faring in the 21st century? The Australian Institute of Male Health and Studies believes that, as a society, we are somewhat reticent in affirming very much that is good about boys, especially in their often difficult and lonely transition from boyhood to manhood. Sadly, they say, our understanding of boys (and males in general) has been informed more by stereotypes than evidence. And this is not without consequences for young males, whose behaviours, and often too mental health issues, are observed with concern by members of the medical profession and of course by parents, and educators alike.
Entries in Resources: Rites of Passage (2)
What kind of world are our boys to growing up in? Why are increasing numbers of boys suffering body image and self-esteem problems? Why do they feel worthless without the latest branded toy, game or item of clothing? What makes soft drinks, snacks and fast foods so attractive? Why are they drawn to countless acts of violence on TV, in movies and in computer games? What impact does our highly sexualised climate, our emphasis on success and money, have on them as they grow? And why are so many boys vulnerable to cyber bullying and to porn? Childhood and teenage life is changing rapidly, leaving parents exhausted and confused as to how best to tackle the many issues they face. How does this high pressure environment affect a boy's confidence, his values and aspirations, his wellbeing, his sense of community, his attitudes to girls and women?
In her follow-up book to What's Happening to Our Girls?, bestselling author Maggie Hamilton asks these and many other vital questions, as well as providing numerous tips for parents and educators on how to create a more promising future for our children. She draws upon interviews with over 70 experts including doctors, psychologists, police and teachers, as well as the 50 anonymous boys themselves to see into their secret lives and understand the challenges they face. What's Happening to Our Boys? is a meticulously researched book that confronts the problems boys and young men face, suggesting positive and constructive ways to help them grow into resilient, productive and happy individuals.