Comments about ‘The war on boys: Sex, media and violence’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 19 2012 11:00 p.m. MST

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terra nova
Park City, UT

Clearly, the first priority is focusing on a good solid marriage pattern. Do that and we create an army of effective support for boys (as well as girls).

Meanwhile, read "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce" by Judith Wallerstein. It is the culmination of a 25-year study following the children of divorce. If you have been a "child of divorce" you will find its conclusions eerily accurate. It compares the effect of divorce in a child's life to an earthquake with aftershocks rumbling through their lives for years and decades after the actual event. With 25-years of research to back it up, the work explodes a number of cherished myths held by parents about their divorce. It may take courage to read it. But it is filled with "big-T" Truths.

Understanding where people are can help us strengthen ourselves and our families. Stronger marriages are the bedrock foundation of helping our children (both boys and girls) prepare for happy, productive lives.

Saint Louis, MO

Outstanding two articles. Obviously, in our society, the boat is going in circles.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

I went to Decker Lake Youth Detention center to tell stories. I was telling the story about an old battle on a Polynesian island. A young man went into a battle and ran into his father who was on the opposite side. He hesitated. But the father told his son, "You have to kill me." Knowing that it was the only way that his son would survive.

A young man raised his hand and asked, "How did he know that it was his father?" It made me review in my mind if I had left out some important detail. I had not. Rather, in this young man's mind, it was not an automatic thing that you would know your father.

That is why he had broken the law enough times that the justice system finally woke up and sent him to this youth detention center.

Yes, I agree with this article. At one point, we expected companies to be socially responsible. Media companies are not socially responsible with the messages that they send out. No drop thinks that it is to blame for the flood.

At the very least, they should stop pretending that they are liberal.

Springville, UT

@ Tek:

"Rather, in this young man's mind, it was not an automatic thing that you would know your father.That is why he had broken the law enough times that the justice system finally woke up and sent him to this youth detention center."

While I agree the boy's statement is revealing, it is not evidence of why he committed crimes which warranted incarceration. Too many people I know (including myself) come from divorced families for that to be real evidence. An anecdotal factor? Yes. Evidence? No.

La Verkin, UT

While I agree that this problem is real, I have a real concern with thinking the government is the solution. This is not a job for "Superman", it is a job for each one of us in our sphere of influence. We can teach our own children. We can encourage and support children of single parents or disfunctional families. We can donate and support with our time, money and effort church and civic groups that provide services and appropriate role models for struggling kids. This governmental approach to social problems has decimated the family unit, increased unproductive attitudes towards work, productivity and independence, and increased divorce rates and disfunctionality. So far, I haven't seen one government program that I would want my kids exposed to because they are so much better at it than "we the people". It is up to us - not "them".

Medical Lake, Washington

I am convinced that society has been experimenting with people and the experiment has gone completely wrong. Another article I read just yesterday in the Deseret News was about how many children are born out of wedlock.

It is alarming to contemplate how many people actually think that such trends don't matter: Illegitimate births; Broken families; Less emphasis on values, personal responsibility and morality.

Roll models have become sport hero's - many in turn who are in it for the money and the notoriety. We condemn those with true values and convictions as old fashioned and politically incorrect. Who do we have left to follow?

Salt Lake City, UT

When it comes to today's society, individuals want all the freedom and rights to "pursue their own happiness", yet evidently don't want any of the consequences.

Unaware, happiness eludes them because it's tied to certain practices they deem "traditional", "dated" or "restrictive".

Northern Utah, UT

As a teacher in a Title 1 school, I face this type of reality daily. It seems as if society would have our boys go down this long destructive road. Video game play is destroying boys motivation in school. I have many students who are babysat by x-box, wii, or playstation for hours. I have many other students growning up without the important fatherly role models that are so crucial. Our society should become obsessed, not with creating new forms of "family units", but should become more engaged in perfecting what is already been proven to work for thousands of years.

Anti Government
Alpine, UT

"it's also not a Republican or a Democrat issue, he says..."

Oh really?

Who supports young teenage girls sexual activity/rights (planned parenthood)?

Who repeately denigrates the religous value/sanctity of marriage/2 parent homes?

Who repeatedly sexualizes young girls in hollywood and the media?

Only a fool can ignore the facts that Liberal social and sexual attitudes related to the casual view of heterosexual solid 2 parent family homes and children adolescence roles does not have significant impact to these issues.

Lets keep acting like it doesn't matter. Lets stop pretending.

Pa. Reader
Harrisburg, PA

If the premise of your articles is correct then can we assume the typos in them were made by the male partner of this writing team?

So silly...I have a friend who believes he is actually at a disadvantage in the US because he is a white, middle-aged, man.

But then again, if we don't do something to stop these unfairly favored girls and women we could arrive at the horrible day when females will be paid comparable wages to their male conterparts.

Hayden, ID

Ghandi's 7 dangers to human morality:
#1: Wealth without work.
#2: Pleasure without conscience.
#3: Knowledge without character.
#4: Business without ethics.
#5: Science without humanity.
#6: Religion without sacrifice.
#7: Politics without principles.

It seems that we are destroying our country from within and this "war on boys" is just a symptom or the consequences of the above!

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

While I agree that our current cultural models of how boys and girls should act are toxic, I don't agree that the solution is to offer "healthier" models to boys and girls on how to act.

I believe the solution is to do away with gender models entirely and focus on the individual child and how s/he can develop healthily--and joyfully--as who they individually are. Only then can we have a healthy and joyful society.

So when child psychologist Michael Thompson states that "a moderate amount of rough and tumble play is precisely what nature intended for boys. . . . Boys are hard-wired for wrestling," a red flag goes up for me.

Certainly what he says is true for *many* boys--most likely, the great majority of them. But when he implies that this is how *boys* act, he's creating the same one-size-fits-all as the toxic models do. And with that will come despair for any boy who isn't particularly good at wrestling (put-downs and scorn are common for such kids) or who has no interest in wrestling at all.

In short, no role model for gender can really bring out the best in anyone. Don't tell your kids who they should be. Let them tell you who they really are.

Heber, Utah

Hillary Clinton told us that "it takes a village" to raise a child. Bull! It takes dedicated parents! Being raised by a single mother was challenging at times in my teen years, but I was fortunate enough to find good male role models, mostly friends fathers, who I watched and learned from on how to be a good man and father. Those who wait and hope for "the village" to help them raise their children get disastrous results.

In nature, when dominant elephant bulls are killed or poached, the younger bulls in the herd enter "must" which is their puberty, much earlier because they aren't held in check by the dominant bull. They become very aggressive to the females and other young males. It is eerily similar to what can happen when boys are left without a strong male role model.

Salt Lake City, UT

Who supports young teenage girls sexual activity/rights (planned parenthood)? - Anti Government

**'Bristol Palin has book deal' - By Hillel Italie - AP - Published by DSnews - 03/01/11

'Bristol Palin, 20, has become a celebrity in her own right, through her broken relationship with her child's father, Levi Johnston...' - article.



Salt Lake City, UT

"Hillary Clinton told us that "it takes a village" to raise a child. Bull! It takes dedicated parents! Being raised by a single mother was challenging at times in my teen years, but I was fortunate enough to find good male role models, mostly friends fathers, who I watched and learned from on how to be a good man and father."

So... what you're saying is...
1. "it takes a village" is ridiculous
2. you need dedicated parents
3. you had good male role models in the community

Therefore... the village helped raise you.

Heber, Utah

@atl184, sorry you misunderstood. NO, the village didn't help raise me. Read again, and you'll clearly see that I said. "I was fortunate enough to FIND" role models, meaning that I didn't have a father figure in the home, so I sought one out. No one came to me, I did the work myself and sought good men to follow and learn from. Learning how to do the work myself at a young age, taught me what I needed to start up and run my business now, instead of waiting for the village to save me and give me welfare and a place to live. I'll say again, it does not take a village to raise a child. Unless of course you don't trust yourself or your own instincts, then by all means, allow someone more responsible to help the poor kids out!

Tremonton, UT

Excellent article. Thank you for openly discussing so many issues that have, in recent society, been things that we have been told it is wrong to condemn.

For so long our society has been in denial of the impacts of video games and pornography. It has been suggested that these are just entertainment and that people can distinguish between these forms of entertainment and reality. All the evidence suggests otherwise.

Is it too late to turn back? Even if our leaders were committed to giving us clear leadership towards values that will teach our youth who they should be, would we as a society support the leaders? Or would society rebel, and claim that violent and pornographic media is nothing more than entertainment? And once again tell us that "if you don't like it, don't watch it". What a myth, that simply not watching such media protects one from the impacts of it.

Ogden, UT

Yankees27 --"but I was fortunate enough to find good male role models, mostly friends fathers, who I watched and learned from on how to be a good man and father."

You did indeed benefit from the "village." As do we all when the village is acting in the best interest of the children in it. A village is small, even just a group of family friends. It could be larger, but don't think that you didn't benefit from it. Otherwise those good fathers of friends would have told their boys to stay away from you because you came from a home different from theirs.

Heber, Utah

Metisophia, If you are talking about the original African proverb which pretty much says close family and friends as well as teachers are "the village" then yes, I'll go with that. I'm talking about the Clinton view as she went with the proverb, but then put her own touch on it by adding all the government agencies, projects and institutions that she advocated, which basically says that "the village" is the government, maybe she should have just said what she meant, and stated, parents don't matter, let us raise your kids for you.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

There is much to applaud in this coverage, but the social scientists can't decide what they really want boys to be. Gentle and tender (male women) or strong and independent (real men.) So much error in the reporting, too. "women do not fall in love with nonproductive men." Seriously? What is the rising tide of out-of-wedlock births other than women falling for nonproductive men?

We want our boys to have some necessary roughhousing, but we don't want them to learn to fight and defend themselves (and by extension, their loved ones later.) We want them to learn to care for babies when they are young, and complain when their tenderness overrules their masculinity.

It got this right, through: Women are taught to look for nearly the perfect man and won't accept any substitutes. Boys pick up on this really quickly and DO chose activities that don't expose them to social risk. Women are sowing the wind and will reap the whirlwind.

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