Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Harvard University Press
“Boys are emotionally illiterate and don’t want intimate friendships.” In this empirically grounded challenge to our stereotypes about boys and men, Niobe Way reveals the intense intimacy among teenage boys especially during early and middle adolescence. Boys not only share their deepest secrets and feelings with their closest male friends, they claim that without them they would go “wacko.” Yet as boys become men, they become distrustful, lose these friendships, and feel isolated and alone.
Drawing from hundreds of interviews conducted throughout adolescence with black, Latino, white, and Asian American boys, Deep Secrets reveals the ways in which we have been telling ourselves a false story about boys, friendships, and human nature. Boys’ descriptions of their male friendships sound more like “something out of Love Story than Lord of the Flies.” Yet in late adolescence, boys feel they have to “man up” by becoming stoic and independent. Vulnerable emotions and intimate friendships are for girls and gay men. “No homo” becomes their mantra.
These findings are alarming, given what we know about links between friendships and health, and even longevity. Rather than a “boy crisis,” Way argues that boys are experiencing a “crisis of connection” because they live in a culture where human needs and capacities are given a sex (female) and a sexuality (gay), and thus discouraged for those who are neither. Way argues that the solution lies with exposing the inaccuracies of our gender stereotypes and fostering these critical relationships and fundamental human skills.
|Publisher:||Harvard University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Niobe Way is Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University and director of the Ph.D. program in Developmental Psychology.
Table of Contents
1 The Hidden Landscape of Boys' Friendships 1
2 Investigating Boys, Friendships, and Human Nature 37
Part I Friendships during Early and Middle Adolescence
3 "Sometimes You Need to Spill Your Heart Out to Somebody" 91
4 Boys with Feelings 117
5 Nick and George: Stories of Resistance 143
Part II Friendships during Late Adolescence
6 "When You Grow Up, Your Heart Dies" 183
7 As Boys Become Men 209
8 Fernando and Danny 229
9 The Crisis of Connection 262
What People are Saying About This
Way's moving analysis of the intimate lives of boys challenges the reader to reconsider many of the widely held assumptions about what it means to grow up male in America today. By sharing their stories of loss, their fears of rejection, their hopes and dreams of connection, Way introduces us to the world of adolescent males so that we can see them as they are and not as we may have imagined.
Pedro A. Noguera, author of The Trouble with Black Boys
Deep Secrets is a much needed and insightful book. Niobe Way rescues us from the simplistic view that 'boys will be boys' to reveal the depth of boys' emotional lives. From her careful and extensive research over two decades comes a compelling and memorable portrait of real boys' lives.
Gary Barker, author of Dying to Be Men: Youth, Masculinity, and Social Exclusion
The book that changes the discussion about boys. Let the secret out!
Michael Kaufman, author of Cracking the Armour: Power, Pain, and the Lives of Men
In Way's groundbreaking Deep Secrets, boys who have long been obscured by cultural myths come alive and let us all in on their most promising, most human dimensions. This is a book that should start educators and parents rethinking how we support our sons' lives.
Michael C. Reichert, coauthor of Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys