Boys in Public!

There has been quite a bit of negative press in Melbourne recently about the very disturbing behaviour of groups of boys in public, who have displayed what you might call tribalistic and misogynistic attitudes. These kinds of attitudes can sometimes be ingrained in boys and are very difficult to deal with. Some would consider this way of being as a very negative form of masculinity.

I think as parents and educators we must challenge at every opportunity these kinds of attitudes, particularly when it is misogynistic and sexist. We do our boys no favours by allowing the “boys will be boys” myth. Dr Arne Rubinstein is an internationally recognised expert on rites of passage and adolescent development, particularly in regard to boys. He suggest a need for adolescent boys to move from a model of “Boys' Psychology” into “Healthy Man Psychology”. I believe the key term being “healthy”.

What is the difference between Boy Psychology and Healthy Man Psychology?

Boy Psychology:

  • I seek acknowledgement
  • I want it all for me
  • Power is for my benefit
  • I am the centre of the universe
  • I believe I am immortal
  • I take no responsibility for my actions
  • I want a mother

 

Healthy Man Psychology:

  • I seek that which I believe in
  • I share with my community
  • Power is for the good of all
  • I am just part of the universe
  • I know I am mortal
  • I take full responsibility for my actions
  • Seeks relationship with the feminine

 

Mobile Phones 

We acknowledge that most boys have and may need a mobile phone, but for very good educational reasons we have a policy that forbids their use during school hours. The distraction that phones cause to the learning of many boys is significant. Our policy is to insist that phones are kept in lockers throughout the day and to confiscate any phone that is being used in class requiring boys to collect them at the end of the day. Phones are also not to be out during lunch and recess breaks. In short, mobile phones should be left in lockers during the school day and any necessary contact between boys and home should be done through the front office.