A significant question, indeed. I think that David's response was right on
target and certainly speaks to the need to keep an eye on all the possible
intervening variables while focusing on gender. And, understandably, race
and SES are primary variables. There are some good resources that look at
boys' educational and developmental need through the lens of race. Two
come to mind are:
"Reaching Up for Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America." by
Geoffrey Canada. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998.
"Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males."
By Freeman Hrabowski et al. NY: Oxford U. Press, 1998.
In terms of examining the influence of "traditional masculinity" on boys
there general acceptance that these notions cut across many of intervening
variables. In many ways our cultural expectations for "male behavior" in
traditional terms are universal while varying in the degree of impact.
is hardly a boy alive who is not aware of what is at stake if he displays
behavior we associate with the feminine. It has been suggested that the
impact of such rigid masculinity intensifies in groups that have the least
access to prosperity. Another reference I can suggest is:
"Cool Pose: The Dilemma of Black Manhood in America." Richard Majors and
Janet Mancini Billson. NY: Touchstone. 1992.
The "trick" in considering gender equity is to not ignore the other major
factors in anyone's life while also acknowledging the extent to which
expectations transcend those variables to some degree. It is a juggling
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