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 approach unearths the serious intimacy between teenage boys specifically in the course of early and heart youth. Boys not just percentage their private secrets and techniques and emotions with their closest male neighbors, they declare that with out them they'd move “wacko.” but as boys turn into males, they turn into distrustful, lose those friendships, and suppose remoted and alone.Drawing from 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 we now 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 overdue early life, boys think they must “man up” by way of changing into stoic and self sustaining. 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 health and wellbeing, or even sturdiness. instead of a “boy crisis,” method 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 hence discouraged if you happen to are neither. method argues that the answer lies with exposing the inaccuracies of our gender stereotypes and fostering those serious relationships and basic human talents. (20110411)

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They also speak of having to disconnect from THE HIDDEN LANDSCAPE OF BOYS’ FRIENDSHIPS 23 their peers and family in the name of being “independent” and “mature” and of feeling lonely. The loss of friendships during adolescence is evident in other studies of adolescents as well. 56 As seniors they run into each other, and Jack later confides to Thompson that he is “dying” to tell Hal, “You’ve been in my mind. I just wrote an essay about us in my English class. ” The essay, shown to Thompson, expresses their former closeness and the deep desire Jack has to reconnect to his former best friend, Hal.

When I asked about their identities, families, peers, schools, and neighborhoods. teenagers spoke extensively about their friendships. Boys and girls spoke about who betrayed whom among their peers, who was able to keep secrets, who was able to “just have fun” and not take things too seriously, or get serious when seriousness was called for, who was their “best friend,” who could be trusted to back them up in a fight or keep their family secret, who could help them with homework or help them get a girl or a boy, or who stole their girlfriend, boyfriend, or best friend.

Five years my junior, Lucan as a young boy had a best friend, John, with whom he spent every waking hour, playing, laughing, and talking. One day, my mother caught the two of them cutting up her much loved childhood rag doll and took both boys to task. Looking sheepish, John went home, and he never returned. For weeks, Lucan would cross the street to John’s house to see if he was there, only to be told by John’s parents that he did not want to play. Lucan talked endlessly about why his best friend might have felt so inconsolably betrayed, but try as he might, he never figured it out.

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