This is going to be fun- be sure and register soon!
A brilliant, heartwarming and serious look at the way gender hyper-stereotypes may be crushing our children’s spirits, from The Good Men Project:
“Time to clean up your toys and come downstairs to say our goodbyes.” I yell upstairs as two sweet boys come sliding down the stairs, giggling—still covered in markers and delight.
“Give your friend a great big hug and a kiss and tell him we’ll see him soon,”
“Mom, I can’t kiss him.”
“Why not?” I ask with a smile, imagining some funny, as-only-kids-will-say statement. Sadly, my smile withdrew as I heard the following response come out of my child’s mouth.
“Because Sam’s mom said that boys aren’t allowed to kiss each other.”
Fear. It creeps in like a villain who, even after dying one thousand times over by the hands of the comic book hero, manages to live on.
This incident left me befuddled. It felt similar to a time when my son showed a love of dance that was so intense it only made sense to enroll him in lessons. At three years old, he was the only boy in a class of all girls. Comments from other parents were surprising. My husband was particularly frustrated when one mother said, “Wow—that’s great of you. I just don’t think I can enroll her brother in dance. My husband would kill me.”
As a mother of a boy in a post-feminist society, I stopped a sole focus on career aspirations and cracking that ever-present glass ceiling and instead, altered my sightline. Raising a boy is one feat, and requires presence of mind and reaction timing surpassing that of an NFL quarterback. To raise a man, however, requires forethought and an open mind. It made perfect sense that Tom Matlack started Good Men Project—what struck me in my desire to better parent a boy, is how little support and information there is out there to do just that.
You may remember the story about the kid whose mom let him dress up as Daphne for Halloween– this essay is just as frank, just as important and asks some very important questions.
Birth control- it’s not just for girls anymore.
A study by the CDC indicates boys are taking a more proactive role in accountability when it comes to sex. Excerpt:
More teenagers are using a condom — by itself or along with a partner’s hormonal contraceptive — according to a new teen sex survey from the CDC.
The survey shows sexual activity and contraceptive use among U.S. teenagers have remained relatively stable over the last decade. But condoms gained among teenage boys as the preferred method.
Also, the teen birth rate has resumed a gradual decline that was briefly interrupted in 2005-2007.
“The slight increase from 2005 to 2007 generated concern that progress over the past two decades in reducing teen pregnancies could have stalled,” researcher Gladys Martinez, PhD, of the CDC’s division of vital statistics, and colleagues write in their report. “However, data for 2008 and 2009 show that the teen birth rate again declined from the rate in 2007.”
The study showed the teen birth rate for girls aged 15-19 was 39.1 births per 1,000 females in 2009. That’s 37% lower than its peak of 61.8 per 1,000 in 1991. Researchers say that is a historic low for the U.S., but still higher than many other developed countries, including Canada.
And that means that STD/HIV rates will be affected- for the better.
On a side note, I believe the surge in birth rates to be the direct result of Bush era abstinence-only education- something Denny Rehberg wants to bring back.
But a surge in personal responsibility on the part of people with penises? Applause.