- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Owl Books; 1 edition (April 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805061835
- ISBN-13: 978-0805061833
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 112 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $5.43 shipping
Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood Paperback – May 10, 1999
|New from||Used from|
$0.80 extra savings coupon applied at checkout.
Sorry. You are not eligible for this coupon.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Anyone who lives or works with boys and men should read Real Boys.” ―Gail Sheehy
“A thoughtful and sensitive discussion of contemporary American boyhood.” ―Dr. Robert Coles, author of The Moral Intelligence of Children
“Just as Reviving Ophelia opened our eyes to the challenges faced by adolescent girls, Real Boys helps us hear and respond to the needs of growing boys.” ―Judith Jordan, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
From the Back Cover
Based on William Pollack's groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School for more than two decades, Real Boys explores this generation's "silent crisis": why so many boys are sad, lonely, and confused although they may appear tough, cheerful, and confident. Pollack challenges conventional expectations about manhood and masculinity that encourage parents to treat boys as little men, raising them through a toughening process that drives their true emotions underground. Only when we understand what boys are really experiencing, says Pollack, can parents and teachers help them develop more self-confidence and the emotional savvy they need to deal with issues such as depression and violence, drugs and alcohol, sexuality and love.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What the author calls "The Boy Code" is what Steven Covey would probably call using efficiency rather than effectiveness as a goal in raising males. The problem is that efficiency leaves the boy with a limited arsenal when it comes to understanding and taking responsibility for his own emotional life. It certainly leaves the boy with limited resources when it comes to understanding or helping others who are wrestling with problems in their own inner life. The lie of "The Boy Code" is that recognizing one's own "negative" emotions is a self-indulgence that simply makes a person weak, a weakness that is permissible in famales, but not in males. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We don't do our boys any favors by teaching them to ignore their own emotions. We also do them a disservice if we let the expectations learned from females dictate what kind of emotional life we expect of males. I know men who live by what this book is espousing. They aren't "wimps", as some reviewers have implied that boys raised in this way will be. They are adults who understand their own emotions well enough to not be unknowingly ruled by them. They know when they are angry, they can admit when they feel fear, and they know how to choose to act under those circumstances, rather than simply reacting, which is what people who refuse to acknowledge their own inner life tend to do. They are certainly not men who expect themselves to experience emotion in the same way as their wives or other women in their lives do, nor do they feel some authority to dictate emotional taboos to other men. They process their emotions in their own ways, they let others do the same, and they don't apologize for it.
I wouldn't, however, limit the observations in this book to boys. There are women and girls who, for whatever reason, have learned to live by what the author calls "The Boy Code." There are men who don't process their emotions as this book implies that men raised in earlier decades will. For that reason, I would caution that the reader not presume after reading this book that he or she now "understands men." The book gives tools for understanding others and helping them to understand themselves, and points out some ineffective but "efficient" ways that people often use in dealing with strong emotion. Knowing these common human patterns isn't a substitute for paying attention to the actions and emotional style of the person you're actually dealing with.
The reviewers who complain that the book takes a great many pages to repeat the same story over and over have a point. A reader who does not want or need so many examples to get the author's point won't lose much by simply skimming the book after the first 100-200 pages or so.
One of the repeating themes in the books is that we have contradictory expectations of men (boys) in our contemporary society. For example, on one level we expect men to be strong, tough, etc. At the same time, there is also a tacit expectation that contemporary men embrace the "New Age" ideal of being tender and vulnerable. Dr. Pollack points out that this causes many men to feel conflicted and often reduces them to painful silence and often isolation.
While Dr. Pollack covers the inside life of boys, he also does an admirable job of citing relevant statistics on how boys performance is slipping academically and other useful objective sociological data. He covers this issue from every angle and goes beyond diagnosing the problems to making concrete suggestions for parents, schools and society at large.
This book is a valuable addition to the literature on boys and the challenges they face. It is definitely a must own book for anyone who is raising a boy along with "Parenting from the Inside Out" by Daniel Siegel which is great for any parent.
Most recent customer reviews
Say something, then say it again... and again... and again...
Reword it and then repeat