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The Purpose of Boys


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. Introduction: what do you want to be, son? Competing Purposes. What Is the Purpose of Boys? We Who Care for Boys and Men. Part One: Understanding the Purpose of Boys. 1 The Loss of Purpose in American Boyhood. Why Parents Want to Provide Purpose for Boys. Moving Forward with New Vision. 2 How Little Boys Develop Their Sense of Purpose. The Empathy of Boys. Brain Differences Between Boys and Girls. How Boys and Girls Need Purpose Differently. Your Little Boy's Need to Save the World. Asking the Deep Questions of Boys. 3 How Adolescent Boys Seek Their Purpose in Life. The Young Seeker Among the Primitive and the Civilized. How Adolescent Boys and Girls Seek and Develop Purpose Differently. What Motivates Different Boys. Helping Our Sons Seek Respect in Adolescence. Moving Forward with a Map in Hand. 4 Son, You Are My Hero. The Heroic Son. The Story of Joseph. The Story Ends, for Now. Par Two: Helping Our Sons Find Their Purpose in Life. 5 Creating Families of Purpose for Boys. Creating a Three-Family System: The Parent-Led Team. The Development of a Boy's Sense of Destiny in the Family System. The Ten Values Tool. The Value of Teaching Sexual Purpose. Helping Our Sons Find Purposeful Work. Helping Boys Find Purpose in Their Media Use. A Boy's Search for Freedom. 6 Creating Communities of Purpose for Boys. The Loss of Communities of Purpose for Boys. What the Community Can Do for Our Sons. Forming Purposeful Communities for African American Boys. Changing Helping Professions to Focus on Boys' Needs. Enjoying Communities of Purpose with Boys. 7 Changing Schools Toward Relevance and Purpose for Boys. How Boys Are Struggling for Purpose in School. Fixing the Mismatch Between Schools and the Purpose of Boys. Investing in Schools of Purpose. 8 Creating and Providing Rites of Passage for Your Son. Guiding a Son Through Male Adolescence. Developing Your Own Rite-of-Passage Programs. The "Here I Am" Rite-of-Passage Program. The Power of Purposeful Men. Epilogue: Coming Together to Advocate for Boys. Notes and Resources. Bibliography. Appendix: Rite-of-passage Programs. The Gurian Institute. The Author. Index.

About the Author

Michael Gurian is a family therapist, educator, consultant, and the New York Times best-selling author of twenty-five books, including The Minds of Boys, Leadership and the Sexes, The Wonder of Girls, Boys and Girls Learn Differently! and The Wonder of Boys. Cofounder of the Gurian Institute, he has spearheaded an international effort to provide families, communities, and corporations with an understanding of brain-based gender issues.


Family therapist, author and boy advocate Gurian (The Wonder of Boys; The Minds of Boys) observes that many boys are struggling to find a sense of purpose, and society has not sufficiently stepped up to the plate to help. Gurian paints a grim picture of boys who have lost their footing; many are failing in school; turning to drugs, alcohol or gangs; and engaging in violent behavior. Gurian attributes this disturbing trend to a lack of purpose and urges parents to help their male offspring channel their energies into productive lives. By employing a three-family system, Gurian argues, parents can join together with other adults-leaders, mentors, coaches-and such institutions as schools and churches, to help boys refocus and get back on track. The author offers practical suggestions for helping parents address boys' needs, tackling such issues as sexuality, work and overuse of electronic media. Particularly useful are Gurian's boxed questions for discussion, which will help parents and educators communicate directly with boys themselves. He also includes suggestions to help boys succeed in academic settings, for example, using movement, project-driven curricula and debate. Gurian's team approach to raising a son gives parents the tools and encouragement they need to help boys find direction and fulfillment. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Verdict: Gurian offers what appears to be the culimnation of his "boy" books, offering a scientifically backed program to help boys thrive. Expect demand from parents, educators, and social workers. Background: Gurian, who first gained notoriety in 1995 with The Wonder of Boys, here focuses on smart but disinterested boys who squander their tremendous potential and seem adrift and purposeless. Using neurobiological studies, Gurian argues that the brains of boys and girls are fundamentally different and parents and teachers need to know how to build on these differences to make sure boys don't just "check out" of school, job seeking, career building, marriage, and family commitments.-Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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