• To Raise a Boy

  • Classrooms, Locker Rooms, Bedrooms, and the Hidden Struggles of American Boyhood
  • By: Emma Brown
  • Narrated by: Cindy Kay
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Brown…engages intellectually with thorny issues involving language, school culture, and the more troublesome aspects of today’s parent universe.”​ (The Washington Post)

To Raise a Boy is a clear-eyed and sometimes shocking view of the world that we have created for boys, and a call for change.” (Peg Tyre, author of the New York Times best seller The Trouble with Boys)

A journalist’s searing investigation into how we teach boys to be men — and how we can do better.

How will I raise my son to be different? This question gripped Washington Post investigative reporter Emma Brown, who was at home nursing her six-week-old son when the #MeToo movement erupted. In search of an answer, Brown traveled around the country, through towns urban and rural, affluent and distressed. In the course of her reporting, she interviewed hundreds of people — educators, parents, coaches, researchers, men, and boys — to understand the challenges boys face and how to address them. 

What Brown uncovered was shocking: 23 percent of boys believe men should use violence to get respect; 22 percent of an incoming college freshman class said they had already committed sexual violence; 58 percent of young adults said they’ve never had a conversation with their parents about respect and care in sexual relationships. Men are four times more likely than women to die by suicide. Nearly 4 million men experience sexual violence each year.

From the reporter who brought Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s story to light, To Raise a Boy combines assiduous reporting, cutting-edge scientific research, and boys’ powerful testimonials to expose the crisis in young men’s emotional and physical health. Emma Brown connects the dots between educators, researchers, policy makers, and mental health professionals in this tour de force that upends everything we thought we knew about boys.

Johns Hopkins chair of the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health Robert Blum says, “The story of boys has yet to be told, and I think it’s a really important story.” Urgent and revelatory, To Raise a Boy begins to tell that story.

©2021 Emma Brown. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about To Raise a Boy

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A Difficult but vital read for parents of boys

This is a hard book for me to review. It took me longer than usual to get through it as I had to stop partway through due to the nature of the content. This was an emotionally difficult read. The book jumps you right into all the threats to boys in today's world. Everything is well sited with very detailed examples given. Very detailed horrific examples given and plenty of them. I was an emotional wreck listening to those portions. Even thinking about it makes me feel queasy and sick. I do think the inclusion of the statistics and examples is important and necessary. I wish it was balanced more in each section with concrete solutions though. Instead it felt like a barrage of horrific bad news to the point I had to take a break of several weeks because it was impacting me emotionally. The arrangement of the book seems to be deliver all the bad news first with lots of examples and statistics and proof. Hammer it home. Be very clear on the threats and dangers. Hammer it home more. Then it switches to solutions and actionable advice. But you have to get through all of that emotional sludge to get to the solutions and actionable advice.

So while I think this is a vital read for parents of boys and while all of the content included was necessary and while the writing style was quite readable I do think it would have been better to structure the book a little differently so it wasn't so much bad news all at once making it overwhelming.

The narration was well done for the audible.

Trigger warnings: Violence, Sexual abuse, rape, emotional abuse, suicide

It is a necessary read. It is just really hard to get through the way it is structured currently.
This is a 4 1/2 star read for me.

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intense

HOW TO RAISE A BOY
I think it provides a good perspective for this next phase of life we're about to usher our prepubescent boy through. There is some very graphic sections in the beginning. If you can stomach the initial sex crime section the rest of the book is much lighter. I had to do it in very small doses until the first couple chapters were done. Feel free to censor and skip 30 seconds here and there if it's too much as the extensiveness could be deemed unnecessary as the scope of the book comes to full focus.

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Politically biased

I expected to hear science/evidenced based data but I had an earful of anti-trump, anti-masculine sentiments just in the prologue. I attempted to push through but the authors writing reeks of her political bias. If you prefer objective data, I would pass this one up.