Our society has been silent, apathetic and cruel for too long about how our boys are treated, ignored and harmed. As a mental health professional who has worked with youth and families for close to two decades, I am on the front lines watching the spirits, minds and hearts of youth weep, tremble and rage with pain from schools, families and a society disconnected from their needs. However, while girls are embraced with incessant cultural messages of empowerment, “girl power” and support, boys must face a constant barrage of shaming, pathologizing, mockery and punishment for their maleness. Their needs, pain and suffering are simply denied existence. Not only is this pathologizing and shunning of boys happening in the media, it is happening in the fields of education, mental health, human services, the law and in the global social justice efforts that shape the world’s perceptions of gender.
Denying Sexual Abuse of Boys
Recently I did the powerful Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trauma treatment with a boy who had suffered severe sexual abuse.… Read the rest