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Charlotte Talks

Boys, Masculinity and Superheroes


Boys, Masculinity and Superheroes It's Halloween. Boys across the country are dressing up as their heroes - superheroes. Donning masks and capes as Spiderman, Iron Man, Batman, "fill-in-the-blank-man." But what do these superheroes teach boys about being a man? Critics say some of these larger-than-life characters send the wrong message to boys. They are violent, aggressive, indestructible, taking justice into their own hands with few or no vulnerabilities. Many parents watch their sons turn sticks into swords and their hands into guns. Is this kind of play unhealthy aggression or simply 'boys being boys?' After talking about princesses earlier this month - the charming, beautiful role models of many girls, we examine super heroes from comics to the big screen and find out what they tell boys about masculinity. Guests Michael Thompson, Ph.D. - Child psychologist, author and school consultant. He is author or coauthor of eight books including Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys and It's a Boy!: Your Son's Development from Birth to Eighteen Michelle Icard - Creator of the Parenting Website MichelleintheMiddle.com and the Social Education Programs Hero's Pursuit (for boys) & Athena's Path (for girls) Will your son be dressed up as his favorite superhero this Halloween? Who is his hero and why? Add and read comments