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The Boy Code Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "The Boy Code Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Boy Code Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011

2 This Webinar Combination of research and professional experience working with adolescent boys Will focus on adolescent BOYS… not specific populations of boys

3 To reach boys…...we must first UNDERSTAND boys How do they learn? From where/whom do they get support? What is the boy code?

4 How do they learn? (Good question…) The educational system is failing boys

5 Boys Are More Likely Than Girls To… Have discipline/behavior problems Be diagnosed with a learning disability or Attention Deficit Disorder Be placed in special education Drop out of school Score lower grades; usually behind in reading/writing

6 Social Development of Boys The BOY CODE William Pollack, PhD

7 What Is the Boy Code? The unwritten code of boy behavior Are not suggestions, are strict rules about how they "must" behave Genuine fear of what will happen if they break them.

8 What Does the Boy Code Dictate? Tough Distrusts adults Doesnt do anything weak or sissy Muscular Never cries Plays sports Doesnt talk much Doesnt act like a girl

9 The Boy Code Boy Code: Needs to look like he knows what hes doing – I know, ok? – even if he doesnt (starts early). Girls: appearance important; Boys: appearances important (e.g., video games)

10 Whats the normal range for an adolescent boy? Wants to be HIMSELF – different from parents, different from past Eventually, different from peers Looking to gain respect for what HE does and who HE is.

11 Whats the normal range for an adolescent boy? May one-up people, especially peers Roughhousing Humiliate and be humiliated Homophobia ALL = MALE BONDING

12 Everything in an adolescents life revolves around sex and sexuality

13 Everything in an adolescent boys life revolves around gender and masculinity

14 Boys tell us that… NEED to be heterosexual. NEED to have sex. Want desperately to be good lovers. Consumed with giving partners orgasms. Obsessed with penis size. Concerned about statutory rape laws. Experience love in extremes.

15 From Hi. I'm very confused. I don't know if I'm gay, bi, whatever. I need you to tell me some signs for straight and gay or even bi boys. Please. I need to know; and I need to know now year-old boy

16 From I am considering suicide because I do not know what to do after my girlfriend left me. She is the only one I love and I cannot go on without her year-old boy

17 From Is there anything i can eat, drink or buy to enlarge my penis? Like that pump thing, does it really works? I hav difficulties since young like u know getting undress in front my friends... My first lov broke up wif me... Sometimes i just wish i wasn't born at all. Suicidal thoughts often cross my mind. i really need ur help...pls – 17-year-old boy

18 So… To reach boys with our sexuality lessons (e.g., sexual initiation, healthy relationships, safer sex, etc.) We need to spend MORE time looking at and incorporating gender/masculinity w/sexuality





23 Some things to consider… Separating boys and girls (pros and cons) – research on single-sex vs. co-ed schools Spend MORE time with boys… bridge the gender gap READ… get to know the RESEARCH, and adapt your existing activities/programs

24 Some more things to consider… Gender of teacher: less important than respect Dont avoid emotions; are taking your lead Dont avoid emotions; are taking your lead PERSONALIZE but maintain boundaries PERSONALIZE but maintain boundaries

25 How do we break the boy code? We cant. But we can make it less limiting.

26 How do we break the boy code? We cant. But we can help boys to understand what it is and choose for themselves the parts they do and dont accept.

27 For More Information/Reading Real Boys and Real Boys Voices by William Pollack, PhD Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys – Dan Kindlon, PhD and Michael Thompson, PhD Speaking of Boys, by Michael Thompson, PhD

28 National Sexuality Education Training Initiative: In-person/Online National sex ed resources National Teen-to-Teen Sexuality Education Initiative

29 ACT for Youth Center of Excellence Youth development and adolescent sexual health resources: Youth network site sexual health, leadership, rights, and more for youth: Was this presentation useful? Please give us your feedback:

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