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It's a boy thing: New book gives adults window into minds of teen males

Published: Thursday, Sept. 12 2013 12:50 p.m. MDT

Rosalind Wiseman has written a book about the relationship between boys and authority figures.

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Eleven years after writing “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” about the social lives of tween and teen girls, Rosalind Wiseman has now given the same treatment to boys with the new book “Masterminds and Wingmen.”

The "Today Show" website published an excerpt of this latest book in which the author examines the relationship between boys and authority figures.

“Boys have a strong response to authority figures who discipline them fairly, even if they hate the punishment,” Wiseman wrote in that excerpt. “People in positions of authority are important to boys. Boys accord an adult great respect if they believe in the person’s honor. They burn with resentment when they are under the control of an adult who abuses his or her authority and then take these experiences and often assume other adults will act the same way.”

In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Wiseman talked about circumstances in which educators — perhaps even inadvertently — end up sending mixed messages to boys.

Wiseman told The Atlantic, “Much of how our educational system is structured — from the way boys are taught academics, to the lack of training we give teachers to be ethical competent authority figures who not only know their subject matter but are engaging educators, to the way the minority of boys who do abuse power so often regularly get away or are disciplined in a way that only shows how powerless the adults are to truly hold them accountable — all too often schools are the place boys learn that the overall culture they will grow up in restricts their creativity and makes it as difficult as possible to come into their masculinity in healthy ways.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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