Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection by Niobe Way

By Niobe Way

“Boys are emotionally illiterate and don’t wish intimate friendships.” during this empirically grounded problem to our stereotypes approximately boys and males, Niobe method finds the serious intimacy between teenage boys particularly in the course of early and heart early life. Boys not just proportion their inner most secrets and techniques and emotions with their closest male acquaintances, they declare that with out them they'd pass “wacko.” but as boys turn into males, they turn into distrustful, lose those friendships, and think remoted and alone.Drawing from hundreds of thousands of interviews carried out all through formative years with black, Latino, white, and Asian American boys, Deep secrets and techniques finds the ways that now we have been telling ourselves a fake tale approximately boys, friendships, and human nature. Boys’ descriptions in their male friendships sound extra like “something out of affection tale than Lord of the Flies.” but in past due youth, boys think they must “man up” by means of changing into stoic and autonomous. susceptible feelings and intimate friendships are for women and homosexual males. “No homo” turns into their mantra.These findings are alarming, given what we all know approximately hyperlinks among friendships and well-being, or even sturdiness. instead of a “boy crisis,” means argues that boys are experiencing a “crisis of connection” simply because they dwell in a tradition the place human wishes and capacities are given a intercourse (female) and a sexuality (gay), and therefore discouraged should you are neither. method argues that the answer lies with exposing the inaccuracies of our gender stereotypes and fostering those serious relationships and primary human talents. (20110411)

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8 My work, more specifically, draws from theory and research that focuses on boys, friendships, masculinities, and human nature. These literatures reveal both the thin culture interpretations of boys’ experiences as well as the thick culture ones. The literature on human nature from which I draw in this book includes the work of social scientists who underscore the ways humans are both receivers of culture and responsive to culture as agents. 10 Our emotional and social skills are, in essence, the root of our survival as individuals and as a species.

Understanding the reasons for this loss and how it reflects a larger loss in community, in friendships, and in empathy91 in America during the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century is critical to finding a way to address this increased isolation. Just as we have been increasingly “bowling alone,”92 so have teenagers become increasingly isolated and alienated. 93 Boys’ stories suggest that we need to foster our relational and emotional capacities so that boys, girls, women, and men can continue to thrive in all areas of their lives.

That’s why I don’t think I have any real close friends. I mean, things can travel around in a school and things would go around, and the story would change from person to person. Yeah, basically I hate it, I hate it, ’cause you know I wouldn’t mind talking to somebody my age that I can relate to ’em on a different basis. Like Guillermo, Victor longs to find the type of intimate male friend he had earlier, but fears of betrayal prevent him from continuing to pursue the possibility. THE HIDDEN LANDSCAPE OF BOYS’ FRIENDSHIPS 21 Occasionally boys did not directly express their yearning for intimate male friendships, but the tone of their voices suggested that they felt poorly about the loss of their formerly close friendships.

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