Can boys really be boys? Gerald Walton and Gianluca Agostinelli say, “yes” - but not without reservation. As accomplished scholars and educators on gender and learning, they advocate for the disruption of usual ideas about masculinity and how it shows in the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviours of boys and men. These ideas aredisseminated and validated through pop culture, schooling, athletics, social media, family, places of worship, playgrounds, pornography, and other sites of learning. With sharp, feminist-informed analyses of contemporary events and news stories, Walton and Agostinelli present a ‘heads up’ to boys and men: the problem of sexual violence against girls and women is ours to address and work through. Their purpose is to prevent sexual assault by challenging the pressures and expectations of what it means to be a man in today's society. Some men respond to their call with threats and hostility. Yet, these reactions justify Walton’s and Agostinelli’s argument that the gender norms rationalized and reinforced daily are the very roots of the problematic and even egregious conduct of some boys and men. If sexual violence is a learned behaviour, then it can certainly be unlearned in the process of boys being boys.
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