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One of the things that I find when I talk to teen boys – one of the things that comes across pretty clearly in the research is that boys don’t have a good sense of understanding about how relationships work. Audrey Hamilton: Your latest book, again “Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy” is written for boys who are coming to terms with, like you say, the complex sexual world around them.This makes a lot of sense if you look at into the media content that’s geared toward teenage boys and compared to what’s geared toward teenage girls. If you look at shows that typically have female audiences, whether we’re talking “90210” or “Gilmore Girls” or “Pretty Little Liars,” that’s a substantial part of the conversation. As a therapist, what are some of the most common questions you get about dating and sex?And we know that most of those health classes don’t talk about relationships at all.At the same time, survey after survey, regardless of whether we’re talking to eighth graders or tenth graders or twelfth graders, about 80-90 percent of teen boys and similar numbers of teen girls tell us that they’ve been in a romantic relationship of some sort.If you’re watching shows or your sons are watching shows like “The Sweet Life of Zach and Cody” or if they’re watching “Harold and Kumar” or even the Avengers movies –there’s never any point in there where the guys actually talk about how relationships work. And I’m also curious how parents can use this book as a way to talk with their sons about this?
This effort began with a series of workshops in 20 that culminated in the development and coordination of a federal interagency workgroup. NIJ has also funded research examining the nature, characteristics and extent of dating violence; risk and protective factors; long-term and short-term outcomes; and systematic evaluations of teen dating violence prevention and intervention programs, policies and legislation.With the boys I work with and even with the adult men I work with, there’s a lot of questions about how do I tell if someone’s interested in me or my partner and I had an argument or things aren’t going so well. And again for boys, it tends to be about fixing things, because we tend to raise boys to be problem solvers and not so much about how they feel about what’s going on or how they feel about their partner that something’s going on.So as a therapist, I have a lot of conversations around those topics. How do feelings feed into those relationship dynamics?Andrew Smiler is a therapist and writer living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Smiler is the author of the new book “Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy,” which is published by the American Psychological Association. First off, we know that only about half of American teens get any kind of sexuality education in their middle schools or high schools.
He has also authored more than 20 journal articles and book chapters relating to boys, men, sexual development and identity issues and is currently an associate editor of the APA journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity. So, there’s a lot of kids that never really have that health class that talks about biology.One of the ways that parents can use the book is to give them ideas for how to start conversations.The book is written for kind of average, run of the mill teen boys, so there’s acknowledgement of stereotypes – acknowledgement of the things that teen boys get pushed into, like sports.And parents can use that kind of framework in those examples as they’re having conversations with their sons.