Demonising boys won’t turn them into angels

Article here. Excerpt:

'Moral panics tend to lead to poor decision making. In the aftermath of the London murder, the government Minister for Policing called for more PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) in schools to teach boys to respect girls. Trainings and workshops in schools based on this theme are well-meaning and seem like a good idea, but the impact on boys is an unknown factor. Given the present volatile context for such workshops, the seemingly innocent message that boys need to treat girls with more respect could, quite possibly, have a negative impact on boys.

For example, some boys might get the sense that they are, as a male, a bad person who can’t be trusted. Shame can have very destructive effect on men, and can even lead to violence. Alternatively, some boys may feel they are being told they are a bad person, which could leads to the self-fulfilling prophecy of them behaving like a bad person. I think it is naive to presume that telling boys to treat women with respect will lead most of them to do so. A lot of boys will ignore this message or find it irritating. In the end, these schoolroom strategies might alienate boys from their teachers, school, girls, and even alienate boys from a positive sense of their own selves.'

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