Boys Will Be Boys

Myriam Miedzian, Author Doubleday Books $20 (337p) ISBN 978-0-385-23932-5
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
Paperback - 354 pages - 978-0-385-42254-3
Paperback - 386 pages - 978-1-59056-035-8
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