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Type: Journal article
Title: All the boys are straight: Heteronormativity in contemporary books on fathering and raising boys
Author: Riggs, D.
Citation: Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies, 2008; 2(2):186-202
Publisher: Men's Studies Press
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1931-9045
Statement of
Damien W. Riggs
Abstract: Over the past decade a rapidly growing number of books have been published on fathering and raising boys. Whilst these books purport to simply describe boyhood, this article suggests that they are in fact actively engaged in constructing boyhood and in making available to boys particular gender and sexual identities. In an analysis of ten such books, the article demonstrates how they are informed by a range of heteronormative and homophobic assumptions about boys and masculinity. Particular focus is given to constructions of the "average boy," the assumption that such boys are "naturally" attracted to girls, discourses of the "sissy" boy, and accounts of gay boys. The analysis provided suggests that constructions of the first two rely upon the negative constructions of the latter two. Implications for the ways in which we understand boys, fathering and families are drawn from the findings. Recommendations are made for research agendas that not only respect and include gay boys and their parents, but also celebrate the experiences of non-gender normative, non-heterosexual boys.
Keywords: boys; fathering; heteronormativity; male homosexuality
Description: Copyright ©2008 Men's Studies Press All rights reserved
RMID: 0020084435
DOI: 10.3149/thy/0202.186
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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