Equity & Diversity Opinion

May 20: Teleseminar with Naomi Way

By Richard Whitmire — May 11, 2011 1 min read
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Way is author of Deep Secrets, another book that takes a look at the “boy code” said to limit boys’ emotional ranges.

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From the press release:

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.

I get the boy code. It has always been there. What I don’t get is how the boy code interacts with the phenomenon we’re seeing today, with sinking academic aspirations among boys. That phenomenon dates back only about 25 years. I can understand why the boy code hampers potential solutions, but I’m still trying to understand how it can be a cause of what we’re seeing today.

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The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.