Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I just thought I would share a basic summary of the workshop I went to last week, which mainly centered around a presentation from writer Malina Saval, author of The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens. Saval's presentation began with an explanation of how she wrote her book and compiled her research. Instead of approaching the masculinity of male teenagers via broad and extensive surveys, Saval engaged in ongoing communication with ten boys and their families with the intention of gaining an intimate outlook on the livelihood of these specific boys. Through the chapters of her book (more or less anecdotal accounts of each of the researched subjects), Saval concluded that male teenagers are more complicated individuals than what society portrays, that they are emotional, anxious, sensitive, and intelligent.

After her presentation, Saval asked us to list some stereotypes associated with masculinity, and some discussion surfaced around issues of sexual desire, immaturity, and aggression. We briefly discussed some of the possible origins for these stereotypes and questioned their legitimacy (both as accurate reflections of male teenagers and as capable means for domination). Conversation steadily drifted, however, toward peripheral topics, such as college life, cliques-culture, and bullying of gay teenagers.

Overall, the workshop worked well at introducing issues surrounding masculinity as well as some relative topics.

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