October 15, 2018

How to Raise Boys in the #MeToo Era

“Tuesday, Bill Cosby began a three-to-10-year prison sentence for his sexual assault of Andrea Constand in 2004.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces multiple allegations of assault and harassment. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of a sexual assault while in high school, testified Thursday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Kavanaugh, who testified as well, denied the accusations.

That’s just this week.

The past year has seen the rise of the #MeToo movement and the downfall of prominent men, including Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Roy Moore. Additional social media-based campaigns have gained steam in the past few weeks, including #WhyIDidntReport and #BelieveSurvivors and underscore the issues of entitlement, respect, consent and power. They are complicated and hard for most adults to understand…

Social norms say boys need to be tough and don’t need emotional support. Biologically, that’s the opposite of the truth, said Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology at Notre Dame.

The structure of boys’ brains means they “need more nurturing than girls … more hugging and affection,” she said. “And because they develop more slowly, they need it longer.”

Like most parenting issues, there is no hard-and-fast answer for how to raise a respectful, empathetic son. The key is to bring the conversation into your home.”

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