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My interest in boys’ development grew out of listening to my younger brothers and the boys I met while working as a counselor.
In her new book, “Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection,” Way reveals the intense intimacy that exists within boys’ friendships.
I wanted to learn about their social and emotional developments, particularly during adolescence—the age during which boys are most heavily stereotyped as stoic and only interested in one thing (i.e., sex).
I discovered that while boys do sound and act like stereotypes at times, they also often implicitly challenge such stereotypes especially in the context of their closest male friendships.
In the late nineteen-eighties, Niobe Way worked as a counselor at an urban public high school, where she spent hours each day listening to teen-agers, especially boys, speak about their struggles with friendship, betrayal, and heartbreak.
Boys and men are often seen through stereotypes as emotionally illiterate, stoic, and extremely independent.