Journalist Orenstein (Girls & Sex) talks with high school– and college-age boys and men about sex in this candid and fascinating portrait of young American masculinity. Conducting more than 100 interviews with males ages 16–22 throughout America, Orenstein shares a narrative of “toxic masculinity”—exemplified by emotional suppression, casual homophobia, and bragging about sexual conquests—and unveils a “historically unprecedented” availability—and habitual watching—of porn, with boys beginning to watch it as early as sixth grade. The damaging effects of this trend are reflected in misconceptions about women, and also result in boys who are unprepared for real-life relationships. Orenstein’s scope is wide, as she delves into the lives of gay and transgender boys and men and interviews young black men at predominantly white schools who stringently follow the rules of “consent,” wary of severe punishment for any hint of improper behavior. Among other conclusions, the author demands that parents “get over it” and talk openly with their kids about sex and intimacy. The #MeToo movement, she asserts, is not only a chance for girls to expose sexual misconduct, but also an opportunity to raise boys up to be compassionate, responsible men. Expertly written and sometimes disturbing, but always informative, Orenstein’s latest is a valuable reference for parents of teenage boys and young men. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/09/2019 Release date: 01/07/2020 Genre: Nonfiction
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