The Miseducation of the American Boy – Toxic Masculinity and the Brokeness of Boyhood by P. Orenstein
…I’ve spent two years talking with boys across America—more than 100 of them between the ages of 16 and 21—about masculinity, sex, and love: about the forces, seen and unseen, that shape them as men.
They [the boys and young men the author interviewed] considered their female classmates to be smart and competent, entitled to their place on the athletic field and in school leadership, deserving of their admission to college and of professional opportunities.
They all had female friends; most had gay male friends as well.
That was a huge shift from what you might have seen 50, 40, maybe even 20 years ago.
They could also easily reel off the excesses of masculinity. They’d seen the headlines about mass shootings, domestic violence, sexual harassment, campus rape, presidential Twitter tantrums, and Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
A Big Ten football player I interviewed bandied about the term toxic masculinity. “Everyone knows what that is,” he said, when I seemed surprised.
Yet when asked to describe the attributes of “the ideal guy,” those same boys appeared to be harking back to 1955. Dominance. Aggression. Rugged good looks (with an emphasis on height). Sexual prowess. Stoicism. Athleticism. Wealth (at least some day).