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Saving Our Sons from Superheroes, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes
Lyn Mikel Brown, Ed.D., Sharon Lamb, Ed.D., and Mark Tappan, Ed.D.
St. Martin's Press, October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-37939-1, ISBN10: 0-312-37939-0,
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 320 pages,
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From the authors of the award-winning
comes an eye-opening look at the narrow version of boyhood that is sold to our sons. Today's media and marketers besiege boys with a steady diet of negative imagery that encourages slacking over studying; competition over teamwork; power over empowerment; and being cool over being yourself. From cartoons to video games to Halloween costumes, boys are bombarded with stereotypes about what it means to be a boy, including messages about violence, risktaking, and perfecting an image of just not caring.
Straight from the mouths of over 600 boys surveyed from across the United States, the authors offer a long, hard look at what boys are watching, reading, hearing, and doing.
gives an in-depth critique of the world that socially constructs boys today and provides parents—and educators—guidance to help boys overcome these troubling images and provide them with the tools to help them resist these messages and be their unique selves.
“If you read one book this year about how to be a better parent to your son, then it must be
. Unlike other parenting or ‘boys books,’ it reveals that boys do not naturally or biologically like violent images, don’t have to do poorly at school; but rather that a bath of hurtful media images are overtaking them—and that you can help save them, teaching them methods for resisting this gender mediocrity so they can grow into the unique, successful young men they truly wish to become!”—
William S. Pollack, Ph.D., author of
Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood
"Parents, look no further:
is your one-stop shop for how to guide your son through the media maelstrom that he loves—and that drives you crazy. This book offers realistic conversation starters, whip-smart insights about twenty-first-century boyhood, and the strategies you need to parent intelligently."—
Rachel Simmons, author of
The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls With Courage and Confidence
and the national bestseller
Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls
"Their subtle and nuanced analysis goes way beyond the usual focus on sex and violence, and their examples are compelling. Best of all, they offer practical and realisitc advice and strategies for change. Parents of boys will treasure this book."—
Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author of
Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel
So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do To Protect Their Kids
"Parents of young boys constantly ask me, Where do boys get these crazy ideas about masculinity, girls, and the world they live in?
answers that question. Brown, Lamb, and Tappan reveal how when one definition of masculinity is packaged and sold, others are taken off the market—and how we all lose in the process."—
Michael Kimmel, Professor of Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook, and author of
Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men
for professional and personal reasons. As an educator, I am impressed by the depth of its social critique . . . As the father of a young son, I learned practical tips about how to talk to and with him about these narrow definitions. And as a grown man . . . I am grateful for the empathy the authors show in these pages for all the boys and men who struggle daily in this culture to be happy, healthy, and socially responsible human beings, despite all the pressures to the contrary.”—
Jackson Katz, author of
The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women
How All Men Can Help.
is one of the most important books ever written about the inner world of boys. Sharon Lamb, Lyn Mikel Brown, and Mark Tappan challenge all caring adults to educate our sons about the pervasive power of the media and to give our boys strategies for countering the harmful images of boyhood and masculinity that they receive on a daily basis.”—
Mark S. Kiselica, Ph.D., Past President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity, coauthor of
Counseling Troubled Boys
“The authors of Packaging Boyhood make a strong case that the media is selling our sons a steady diet of distorted dreams: power, domination, misogyny, pornography and self-mutilation. I found Packaging Boyhood to be a well researched, thought-provoking study of the media’s attempts to stereotype boys. As someone who worries about the academic underachievement of boys, I was particular interested in the marketing of the “slacker” image to a generation of our sons.”—
Michael Thompson, Ph.D., author of
Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
It’s a Boy! Your Son’s Development from Birth to Eighteen
"An eagerly welcomed sibling to
is informative, accessible, and above all a must-read for any parent, educator, and caring adult concerned with our boys’ well-being."—
Dafna Lemish, Ph.D., editor of
Journal of Children and Media
“Every parent of a son needs to know about the world of boys in twenty-first century America. It is a world in which boys are bombarded with harmful, damaging messages that come to them via movies, advertisements, music, fashion, and a host of other pop culture sources. The desire of every parent is to help our children enjoy childhood and grow into responsible, balanced adults. But to do so today we need to help boys deal with the stereotypes of the superhero, the playa, the slacker, and other roles that can harm our sons. In
, Lyn Mikel Brown, Sharon Lamb and Mark Tappan give parents—and grandparents—exactly the information and guidance we need in order to help our boys make their way safely through the pop culture minefields."—
Carmine Sarracino, Ph.D., author of
The Porning of America: The Rise of Porn Culture, What It Means, and Where We Go from Here
“A thoughtful and provocative look at just how ruthlessly the media and marketing industries target boys, the negative consequences of that targeting, and what we can do about it. Essential reading for parents and anyone who cares about how childhood shapes the adults our children become.”—
Susan Linn, Ed.D., author of
Consuming Kids: Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing and Advertising
The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World
About the Author(s)
Sharon Lamb, Ed.D.
Lyn Mikel Brown, Ed.D.
Mark Tappan, Ed.D.
Lyn Mikel Brown
is Professor of Education at Colby College, where she teaches courses in child and adolescent development, popular culture and schooling. She is the author of
Raising Their Voices
is Distinguished Professor of Mental Health at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Professor of Psychology at Saint Michael’s College. She is the coauthor, with Lyn Mikel Brown, of
and the author of
The Secret Lives of Girls
Sex, Therapy, and Kids
is Professor and Director of the Education Program at Colby College where he teaches courses on education and social justice, contemporary children and youth, and boy's development and education.
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