Miedzian contends that a ``masculine mystique'' of toughness, dominance and extreme competitiveness contributes greatly to criminal and domestic violence. Furthermore, she argues, adherence to this mystique by men in power creates a militaristic national outlook and diminishes the chances for world peace. In an important, often provocative report, stronger in its diagnoses than its prescriptions, Miedzian cites evidence that a father's nurturant involvement in rearing boys is key in discouraging violence in them. An American Studies scholar at Columbia, the author identifies violence-soaked TV shows, war toys and the machismo of sports as factors encouraging violence in boys and men. Her debatable thesis that homosexuality derives from our society's rigid definitions of ``masculine'' and ``feminine'' weakens the thrust of her central argument. Among her controversial recommendations are mandatory public-school classes in conflict resolution and childrearing, and the creation of a ``pro-social'' Children's Public Broadcasting System complete with mandatory lock-box enabling parents to scramble all adult channels. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991 Release date: 05/01/1991 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.