ERIC Number: ED443596
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jun-15
Reference Count: N/A
The War against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.
Sommers, Christina Hoff
Under the guise of helping girls, many schools have adopted policies that penalize boys, often for simply being masculine. Arguing that boys need help catching up with girls academically, and need love, discipline, respect, and moral guidance, but do not need to be rescued from their masculinity, this book scrutinizes studies and feminist doctrine to refute the notion that there is a "girl crisis" in the schools. Following a preface that contrasts how Great Britain and Australia have addressed the problem of boys' underachievement to how U.S. schools have instead suffused the problem with sexual politics, the chapters of the book are: (1) "Where the Boys Are," exploring achievement statistics indicating that in fact, girls are outperforming boys, and refuting the current wisdom that young and adolescent girls are in crisis; (2) "Reeducating the Nation's Boys," on feminist efforts to alter school curricula to unfairly socialize boys under the guise of gender equity; (3) "Guys and Dolls," on how pressures of the gender equity movement collide with children's innate dispositions; (4) "Carol Gilligan and the Incredible Shrinking Girl," on the poor science underlying Harvard professor of gender studies Gilligan's claim of a "girl crisis," and the media's part in perpetuating this false notion; (5) "Gilligan's Island," criticizing Gilligan's later assertion that boys' socialization away from their mothers and into masculinity and the "patriarchal social order" is traumatic for them and at the heart of male violent and aggressive behavior; (6) "Save the Males," exploring the trend to "reconnect" young and adolescent boys to emotional expression despite their natural, and not necessarily unhealthy, reticence; (7) "Why Johnny Can't, Like, Read and Write," on how tenets of progressive education supplanting discipline, competition, and high expectations have contributed to boys' poor performance; (8) "The Moral Life of Boys," on how the absence of moral socialization, not masculinity, lies at the root of boys' aggression and violent behavior; and (10) "War and Peace," on the inner conflicts feminist mothers experience raising sons and on the need to re-acknowledge that boys and girls are different and stop "pathologizing" maleness. (Contains extensive notes, by chapter.) (HTH)
Descriptors: Aggression, Attitude Change, Curriculum Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethical Instruction, Ethics, Females, Feminism, Gender Issues, Males, Masculinity, Nature Nurture Controversy, Parent Child Relationship, Psychological Needs, Sex Differences, Social Attitudes, Socialization, Student Needs, Values
Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020; Web site: http://www.simonsays.com; e-mail: www.simonsays.com ($25).
Publication Type: Books; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A