I have worked as a professional in the human services and as an advocate of social justice for nearly two decades. I have worked with thousands of children and families in multiple roles including as a mental health counselor, parenting coach, social worker, educator, and mentor. I am also the proud Mom of a 21-year-old son who I adopted from the foster care system when he was 11. Through my extensive research and work with children and families over many years, I have been able to see the threads of how childhood trauma and attachment breaks in each individual family can lead to the tragic tapestry of global human suffering. Family violence is almost always a symptom of trauma and unmet emotional and physical needs, usually in the childhoods of the adults. I believe that hurt people need compassion, healing and guidance, not punishment. My passion is to heal human suffering at its root causes and to offer people compassion and hope.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | boys
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
How does it feel to be a minority, guys? Via ScienceDaily:
… Read the rest
Despite the stereotype that boys do better in math and science, girls have made higher grades than boys throughout their school years for nearly a century, according to a new analysis published by the American Psychological Association.
“Although gender differences follow essentially stereotypical patterns on achievement tests in which boys typically score higher on math and science, females have the advantage on school grades regardless of the material,” said lead study author Daniel Voyer, PhD, of the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada. “School marks reflect learning in the larger social context of the classroom and require effort and persistence over long periods of time, whereas standardized tests assess basic or specialized academic abilities and aptitudes at one point in time without social influences.”
Based on research from 1914 through 2011 that spanned more than 30 countries, the study found the differences in grades between girls and boys were largest for language courses and smallest for math and science.
The epidemic of suicides among improbably flexible teenage boys armed with undetectable firearms continues. In all cases, the boys were in the backs of police cruisers…
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A Durham teen died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said Wednesday afternoon at a news conference.
Lopez held a 3 p.m. news conference and started by extending condolences to the family of Jesus Huerta, who died in a police cruiser in November. Huerta was 17.
He said the noise heard by the officer was a gunshot, and said it was a gunshot wound to the head.
Lopez said a handgun was found in the car and that Huerta was still handcuffed from behind. He said the wound was self-inflicted.
“The medical examiner’s office has confirmed that Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound to his head,” Lopez said. “Whether that wound was accidental or intentional is unknown at this time.”
Lopez said Huerta was searched, and police are not sure where how he had the weapon.
Christina Hoff Sommers investigates whether schools aren’t doing enough to help their young male students.
Being a boy can be a serious liability in today’s classroom. As a group, boys are noisy, rowdy and hard to manage. Many are messy, disorganized and won’t sit still. Young male rambunctiousness, according to a recent study, leads teachers to underestimate their intellectual and academic abilities. “Girl behavior is the gold standard in schools,” says psychologist Michael Thompson. “Boys are treated like defective girls.”
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As school begins in the coming weeks, parents of boys should ask themselves a question: Is my son really welcome? A flurry of incidents last spring suggests that the answer is no. In May, Christopher Marshall, age 7, was suspended from his Virginia school for picking up a pencil and using it to “shoot” a “bad guy” — his friend, who was also suspended. A few months earlier, Josh Welch, also 7, was sent home from his Maryland school for nibbling off the corners of a strawberry Pop-Tart to shape it into a gun. At about the same time, Colorado’s Alex Evans, age 7, was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade at “bad guys” in order to “save the world.”
In all these cases, school officials found the children to be in violation of the school’s zero-tolerance policies for firearms, which is clearly a ludicrous application of the rule.
Cameron Conway posts at the Good Men Project:
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On 30 March 2013, ECPAT-USA, a policy organization that fights against the commercial exploitation of children, released a groundbreaking and desperately important report titled “And Boys Too.” The entire report can be downloaded as a PDF directly from their website. Here are some take-home points:
(1) “Most significantly, responses from service providers clearly indicate that the scope of CSEB (commercial sexual exploitation of boys) is vastly under reported, that commercial sexual exploitation poses very significant risks to their health and their lives; that gay and transgenders are over-represented as a proportion of the sexually exploited boys; and that there is a shortage of services for these boys.”
(2) “The John Jay College and the Center for Court Innovation study The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City in 2008 estimated that as high as 50% of the commercially sexually exploited children in the U.S.
Cameron Conway writes at the Good Men Project:
… Read the rest
In my visit to Care Corner Orphanage in Thailand I was shocked that most of the HIV-infected sex slave survivors were boys under the age of ten. I saw and learned of something similar in the Philippines and in Bangladesh. Upon reflection, I think part of the reason for my shock was because I was conditioned through the media, literature, photo and film to believe that this was a crime perpetrated against only girls and women. The photo above actually came from a video released a few days ago by Reuters titled The Trafficking Business in which the entire focus is females as victims and how millions of them are forced into the sex trade or sweat shops. While not untrue, it’s not painting a full picture either.
Speaking broadly on the topic of human trafficking – boys and men are trafficked far more than girls and women because, in part, strong bodies are needed for labor.