zOLD Books We Like
 
Table of Contents
 
1. Early Sexualization
2. Masculinity, Bullying and Violence
3. Body Image and Eating Disorders
4. Academic Underachievement
5. Children and Media- the New 'Super Parent'
 
Children and Media- the New 'Super Parent'
 
Packaging Girlhood Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes by Sharon Lamb Ed.D. and Lyn Mikel Brown That girls are overwhelmed by images of princesses, demure femininity and pink, pink, pink is no surprise. What is shocking, as Lamb and Brown so astutely demonstrate, is the downright bombardment girls receive, coming from all forms of media. The idea of "girl power was snapped up by the media," and "what it sells is an image of being empowered," argue the authors. Girls are offered two choices by the marketers: they are "either for the boys or one of the boys." The book is incredibly readable and rises above others in the genre by giving parents concrete tools to help battle stereotypes. The authors aren't trying to deny anyone princesses or pink; they just want girls to be knowledgeable enough to choose what will truly interest them. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Can't Buy My Love Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel by Jean Kilbourne Many advertisements these days make us feel as if we have an intimate, even passionate relationship with a product. But as Jean Kilbourne points out in this fascinating and shocking exposé, the dreamlike promise of advertising always leaves us hungry for more. Drawing upon her knowledge of psychology, media, and women's issues, Kilbourne offers nothing less than a new understanding of a ubiquitous phenomenon in our culture. The average American is exposed to over 3,000 advertisements a day and watches three years' worth of television ads over the course of a lifetime. Kilbourne paints a gripping portrait of how this barrage of advertising drastically affects young people, especially girls, by offering false promises of rebellion, connection, and control. She also offers a surprising analysis of the way advertising creates and then feeds an addictive mentality that often continues throughout adulthood.
 
Early Sexualization
 
The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It by M. Gigi Durham We've all seen it—the tiny T-shirts with sexually suggestive slogans, the four-year-old gyrating to a Britney Spears song, the young boy shooting prostitutes in his video game—and University of Iowa journalism professor Durham has had enough. In her debut book, she argues that the media—from advertisements to Se powerfully; that Barbie has the ideal body; that children—especially little girls—are sexy; that violence against women is sexy; and that girls must learn what boys want, but not vice versa. After debunking each myth, Durham offers practical suggestions for overcoming these falsehoods, including sample questions for parents and children. In a well-written and well-researched book, she exposes a troubling phenomenon and calls readers to action. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
 
So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids by Diane E. Levin and Jean Kilbourne (2008) Children are exposed to a barrage of sexual images in TV, movies, music and the Internet. They are taught that buying certain clothes, consuming brand-name soft drinks and owning the right possessions will make them sexy and cool -- and being sexy and cool is the most important thing. The result is that kids are having sex younger and with more partners than ever. Eating disorders and body image issues are common as early as grade school. The authors offer advice on how to limit children's exposure to commercialized sex and engage in constructive, age-appropriate conversation about sex and the media.
 
Dilemmas of Desire

Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk about Sexuality by Deborah L. Tolman Until now there has been no academic study on what teenage girls actually want. Tolman, an associate director at the Center for Research on Women at Wellesley College, fills that gap by focusing on girls' desires, rather than on the social ills they're usually quizzed on-pregnancy, disease and dropping out of school. The teenage voices she has collected are articulate and refreshing, though many of the stories are depressingly familiar. Nearly all the girls surveyed worry about being branded sluts, and many grapple with the pressure to be sex objects for boys while expressing no desire of their own. She advocates making it easier for girls to talk about their sexual wants-whether with parents, teachers, or other girls-without fear of repercussion. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 
Academic Underachievement
 
Dude You're a Fag

Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School by C. J. Pascoe (2007) "In this superb ethnography of daily life in a contemporary high school, C. J. Pascoe highlights the sexualized dynamics of youthful masculinity. With vivid detail and perceptive analysis, she examines the 'fag talk' which pervades boys' conversations; the convergence of gender, sexual, and racialized practices in school rituals like the 'Mr. Cougar' contest; and the experiences of girls who display themselves as masculine. The result is a book that breaks fresh ground in masculinity and gender studies-and is a very good read!" -- Barrie Thorne, author of Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School

 
Bad Boys Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity by Ann Arnett Ferguson (2001) Based on three years of participant observation research at an elementary school, Ferguson demonstrates how a group of eleven- and twelve-year-old males are identified by school personnel as "bound for jail" and how the youth construct a sense of self under such adverse circumstances. Through interviews and participationthe author explores what "getting into trouble" means for the boys themselves. She argues that rather than simply internalizing these labels, the boys look critically at schooling as they dispute and evaluate the meaning and motivation behind the labels that have been attached to them. Supplementing the perspectives of the boys with interviews with teachers, principals, truant officers, and relatives of the students, the author constructs a disturbing picture of how educators' beliefs in a "natural difference" and the "criminal inclination" of black males shapes decisions that disproportionately single out black males as being "at risk" for failure and punishment.
 
Gender Play

Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School by Barrie Thorne (1993) Thorn, a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, offers her insightful observations of elementary school students in class and at play. Thorne presents a fascinating account of how children divide themselves--and how others divide them--along gender lines. Breaking students into teams for contests and the eternal game of "cooties" (a contamination attributed more often to girls than boys) reveal much about the microcosm that these students inhabit, and an extensive look at the tomboy, both in literature and in life, compares her ambiguity (sometimes an insult, sometimes a compliment) to the negative attitudes often elicited by gender-crossing in the other direction. A final section offers concrete steps for teachers to take in forming the attitudes--about gender and other topics--of coming generations. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 
Body Image and Eating Disorders
 
Masculinity, Bullying and Violence
 
Guyland

Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men by Michael Kimmel Based on more than 400 interviews, over a four-year span, with young men ages 16–26, Kimmel's study shows that the guys who live in Guyland are mostly white, middle-class, totally confused and cannot commit to their relationships, work or lives. Although they seem baffled by the riddles of manhood and responsibility, they submit to the Guy Code, where locker-room behaviors, sexual conquests, bullying, violence and assuming a cocky jock pose can rule over the sacrifice and conformity of marriage and family. Obsessed with never wanting to grow up, this demographic, which is 22 million strong, craves video games, sports and depersonalized sexual relationships. In the end, Kimmel offers a highly practical guide to male youth. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 
Real Boys

Real Boys : Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack & Mary Pipher In a lucidly written primer for parents, Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Pollack dismantles what he terms "the Boy Code" society's image of boys as tough, cool, rambunctious and obsessed with sports, cars and sex. These stereotypes, he argues, thwart creativity and originality in boys. Linking clinical insights to practical suggestions, Pollack advises caregivers how to help boys repair their fragile self-esteem, develop empathy and explore their sensitive sides. On balance, though, his manual is enlightening and stimulating. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 
The Secret Lives of Boys

The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens by Malina SavalThis is an uncensored look into boyhood culture and reveals with unabashed honesty spine-tingling confessions, heartrending sadness and isolation, unbridled optimism and seemingly boundless resilience. By listening without judging, Saval has created an authoritative entrée into the clandestine culture of boyhood, lending a voice to a demographic undeservedly jilted. This book asks the pertinent questions: Who are these boys? What do they think of themselves? How can we advise them properly in a way that they will not resist? Saval digs deep to uncover what binds these boys, what makes them different, what they want you to know.

 
Raising Cain

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon & Michael Thompson The authors turn a spotlight on the inner lives of boys, debunking preconceptions about gender, explaining the importance of nurturing communication skills and empathy in boys as well as girls, and steering boys toward a manhood of emotional attachment, not stoicism and solitude.Such issues as drinking, drugs and the "culture of cruelty" among adolescents, in which "anything a boy says or does can and will be used against him," also meet with sensitive treatment. Separate chapters examine the relationships between fathers and sons and mothers and sons, and show how these can be protected and redefined. This thoughtful book is recommended for parents, teachers or anyone with a vested interest in raising happy, healthy, emotionally whole young men. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 
Gender Talk

Gender Talk: The Struggle For Women's Equality in African American Communities by Johnnetta B. Cole & Beverly Guy-Sheftall Cole and Guy-Sheftalloffer an impassioned and arguably necessarily harsh critique of gender relations between black men and women. No mean-spirited hyperbolic spew, the book is thorough, historically centered and respectful. It concisely renders its polemic, raising essential questions. Most pertinently, why has the black community virtually ignored violence against black women, while black-on-black crime between men is discussed in depth? Asserting that much intraracial conflict has been laid at the feet of slavery, the authors mostly concur that slavery may have precipitated conflicts between black men and women, but the need for black men to align themselves with (white) patriarchal dominance superseded their loyalty to black women. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 
The Macho Paradox

The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help by Jackson Katz Katz is cofounder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP), and his focus is on prevention—his intended audience is not violent men who need help changing their ways, but all men, who, he says, have a role to play in preventing male violence against women. His basic assertion is that rape, battering, sexual abuse and harassment are so widespread that they must be viewed as a social problem rooted in our culture, not as the problem of troubled individuals. He urges men to directly confront the misogynistic attitudes and behavior of their peers. Katz also presents eye-opening exercises and discussions from the MVP model that engender productive discussion among participants—usually high school or college students. If only men would read Katz's book, it could serve as a potent form of male consciousness-raising. Excerpted from Publishers Weekly © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 
Odd Girl Out Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls by Rachel Simmons Through interviews with more than 300 girls in 10 schools (in two urban areas and a small town), as well as 50 women who experienced alternative aggression when they were young, Simmons offers a detailed portrait of girls' bullying. Citing the work of Carol Gilligan and Lyn Mikel Brown, she shows the toll that alternative aggression can take on girls' self-esteem. For Simmons, the restraints that society imposes to prevent girls from venting feelings of competition, jealousy and anger is largely to blame for this type of bullying. It forces girls to turn their lives into "a perverse game of Twister," where their only outlets for expressing negative feelings are covert looks, turned backs and whispers. Since the events at Columbine, some schools have taken steps to curb relational aggression. For those that haven't, Simmons makes an impassioned plea that no form of bullying be permitted. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

   

 

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