4 de agosto de 2018

Notes on “Girls, Boys and Junior Sexualities”, by Emma Renold.

“Girls, Boys and Junior Sexualities” was written by Emma Renold. Here are some notes I made about her book. These notes do not necessarily reflect my opinion on a given subject. Also, none of these notes are quotations, to avoid problems regarding copyright. You are encouraged to read the book itself.

  1. If this is not obvious enough, the book is about child sexuality.
  2. More specifically, how this sexuality is linked to school behavior and gender identity.
  3. Sexuality also has a role in forming friendships.
  4. The use of sex-based insults serves to pin down the gender role of the one who insults as well.
  5. The method of the book is the interview and the observation: the author talked to children and adolescents about their experiences with their own sexuality.
  6. Other topics discussed in the book are the pressure to be heterosexual, the culture of boyfriends/girlfriends and sexual harassment.
  7. “What existing book would you like to have written?” Is an interview question.
  8. The child does not always accept gender roles and can resist them.
  9. Where there is strength, there is resistance.
  10. Sex education has to be helpful.
  11. The child can teach adults in their own way.
  12. Sexual identity may already be formed at the age of three .
  13. However, there is pressure to conform to the stereotype imposed by society before that, so there may be dissonance between what you want to be and what society expects you to be.
  14. There are children who are not interested in relationships with the opposite sex, preferring to play football with friends.
  15. However, there are girls interested in boys because the company of the other girls is tiring.
  16. The boy who does not behave like the other boys can be labeled gay.
  17. Primary school is incapable of maintaining the “innocence” of the child or adolescent: sometimes, primary school is subverted into an arena for the exercise of sexual identity and sexual behavior.
  18. Sex is treated as a “special” area of ​​human behavior, as if it were something different from everything else, but sexuality is exercised daily, in varying degrees of intensity, without we even realizing it.
  19. This type of judgment, which says that sexuality is special, is one of the foundations of the concept of “innocence”, so that when one realizes that sexuality is intrinsic to us, including children , the concept of innocence is questioned.
  20. Gender roles vary according to time and place.
  21. Children learn to be “boy” or “girl”, not as biological categories, but as social categories, that is, how society expects you to behave.
  22. There is not just one type of masculinity or one kind of femininity.
  23. It is naive to think that the child accepts these roles passively.
  24. The child has the capacity to accept, reject and modify the social role imposed on them, even if adults do not perceive this capacity.
  25. Although biological sex is not something that can be erased, gender, that is, the social role around sex, is an illusion that is only maintained by repetition.
  26. Not being able to “act like a boy” or “act like a girl” can cause despair to the child.
  27. If gender roles were so real, it would not be possible to transgress them (at least, not so often).
  28. But taking on the role of the opposite sex may end up reinforcing these roles rather than questioning them, depending on the social context and the audience.
  29. There are children who challenge gender roles in group, with other children doing the same.
  30. Gender roles are a manifestation of the fear we have of our children growing up homosexual .
  31. The “illusion of gender” is reinforced by the rejection of sexual minorities .
  32. If one point of view needs to attack another to maintain itself, it is a fragile point of view.
  33. There is not only one form of heterosexuality.
  34. “Childhood” is a fabricated social concept .
  35. Children make sex jokes and other children laugh, but if they laugh, it’s because they understand those dirty jokes.
  36. Making sex jokes can serve to distract others from the fact that you do not have a girlfriend .
  37. If you can not express your heterosexuality in one way, you will express it in another.
  38. The employed of sexual speech by a child may serve to irritate authority figures.
  39. Researching children and researching with children are different things.
  40. Ignoring children’s experienced is a sign of biased thought.
  41. The adults’ perception of children often does not coincide with what the child is, so development theories validate assumptions that the child is incompetent (assuming that the child is incompetent from start, the child is treated as incompetent throughout the research process, and then the research concludes that the child is incompetent).
  42. Some researchers say that studying children as people rather than as objects of study is “unethical” and “improper.”
  43. But neglecting the child’s experience shows that we do not even care about them, that we are more interested in validating what we already think of them.
  44. If you study the quality of teaching and the quality of the facilities, but you don’t talk to the students, you will not know how to train the teacher nor how to organize the school.
  45. Before we listened to women, we made a wrong idea of them, so maybe it’s time to listen to the children .
  46. This requires the abandonement of our child-related biases .
  47. Child sexual experience is a hidden curriculum.
  48. There are girls who seek a sensual, deliberately attractive femininity, and girls who seek a different femininity.
  49. The boy who does not conform to the stereotype of “macho” receives more criticism than the girl who is less feminine.
  50. There is a rush to act older.
  51. It is not always the boy who does sexual advances: there are girls who advance upon boys.
  52. In a sexually charged environment, a boy and a girl who are just friends, rather than a couple, are viewed with suspicion.
  53. Most boys experience dating culture as a risky experience: there is a certain fear of being close to the girl, but if you fail, you might be seen as a failure.
  54. Thus, few male kids achieve and maintain relationships.
  55. This is especially bad if you pass the image of someone who is secure of himself, but fails when your masculine image is put to test.
  56. This stress caused by the dating culture leads some boys to seek a sexual identity of power, while others others seek a sexual identity of innocence (or distance from sexual things).
  57. Of the twenty-six boys studied by the author, only three had girlfriends.
  58. One-third of the interviewed children attempted to challenge the sexual roles that were imposed on them.
  59. Because of rejection, these children come together and resist together.
  60. Innocence ” is a prejudiced concept, that is, an age-based prejudice.
  61. Sex education can not ignore this data.
  62. Sexual innocence is presumed.
  63. The discourse of innocence is maintened thanks to society; innocence is not a natural phenomenon.
  64. The moral panic over the “loss of innocence” is caused by the very laws and policies built around this concept.
  65. “Childhood” is not a natural concept: it does not exist in an essential or universal way, that is, it is useless to say that all children act in the same way all the time and everywhere in the world.
  66. The behavior we expect from our children changes according to time and place, so that we have to teach our children to act as children, which shows the social volatility of the concept of childhood.
  67. Childhood is invented by adults and pushed upon children.
  68. “Innocence” was invented by Rousseau .
  69. Before 1870, children were not barred from adult spaces in Britain.
  70. Innocence would be what separates children from adults.
  71. Innocence is propagated by the school.
  72. For some, childhood is declining as children and adults are made more equal, but for others, childhood is being extended .
  73. The school produces innocence.
  74. Children what to know what adults know.
  75. It is because we are still working with the innocent child paradigm that studies on child sexuality are so rare .
  76. If children are innocent and innocence is sexual ignorance, then, by the logic of the system, the sexual child need not be considered a “child”.
  77. The child exhibiting sexual behavior is considered to be “corrupted.”
  78. If child sexuality is a fact, it ends up being seen as a challenge: it must be preserved, but also controlled.
  79. The means of control is censorship: you can only talk about child sexuality to talk about abuse or exploitation.
  80. A child who has a sexual encounter with someone, whether voluntarily or by force, is seen as someone who “lost their childhood.”
  81. However, if childhood is a fabricated social concept and if innocence is denied by the presence of an innate sexuality to the child, then the discourse of “losing childhood” is a rhetorical device.
  82. The concept of innocence can harm the child.
  83. An “authentic” concept of childhood should not include the fabricated notion of innocence, which is external to it.
  84. For the more conservative, the sexual child does not need to be protected (it’s no longer a child).
  85. This contact with sexuality stigmatizes the child in a society that expects the child to be innocent: the child will be treated differently.
  86. For many, the sexual child is only sexual because the child has been sexually abused, but that is not always true.
  87. The precocious child is punished for being ahead of the others, with some “experts” even saying that the precocious child should receive treatment “to behave according to his or her age.”
  88. In the popular opinion, precocious sexuality is abuse, because the sexual child is no longer a child.
  89. Nobody thinks that the sexual experience can have a formative aspect or be natural and desired.
  90. All ignorance is bad and this includes sexual ignorance, or will you just teach contraception to your daughter when she is already pregnant?
  91. In some places, kissing before the age of consent is a crime.
  92. This type of law places teenagers and children in an illegal situation , because many of these little ones already date or have had their first experiences (they can not seek support if something goes wrong, such as a sexually transmitted disease or accidental pregnancy , without pretty much disclosing the crime and reporting themselves).
  93. The age of consent law harms children and adolescents more than it prevents adults from attacking those minors.
  94. The child, viewed as asexual, is seen as “immune” to the sexualized media, to the novels, to the songs, but the child is not: the child’s sexuality is teased with that media.
  95. If the child is a sexual being, the sexuality of the entire world in which the child lives in affects the child’s particular sexuality, and even though the child knows that acting on those urges may be illegal, they would still feel tempted to try.
  96. The child draws their conclusions from observed adult sexual behavior.
  97. The problem is not whether the child is sexual or not, but how adults should deal with child sexuality since they are dealing in the wrong way.
  98. The childhood is so erotic, that women try to seduce men by assuming childish behaviors mannerisms.
  99. On the other hand, if a girl adopts the behavior of an adult woman, people might think it’s unhealthy.
  100. In the case of boys, people are more concerned with demonstrations of violence than with manifestations of “manly” behavior.
  101. The discourse of concern falls upon boys when they mix sexuality and violence or when they show signs homosexuality.
  102. Some parents worry when their children act more mature than expected for their age, some even thinking their children are sick.
  103. But slow maturing leads the child to assume a false maturity, which is also not ideal.
  104. Therefore, “behavior according to age” is a problematic concept, perhaps causing more harm than good.
  105. “Age” is a fabricated social concept: it has no meaning besides measuring the amount of timed lived up to that point.
  106. Each person matures at his own pace, which must be respected, be it fast or slow.
  107. All institutions are sexualized by their members and primary school is no exception.
  108. Because heterosexuality is more common, it is natural for students to organize heterosexually in primary school.
  109. At school, useful things are not always learned.
  110. Male teachers are viewed with suspicion, since primary school is a more feminine work environment.
  111. However, the teacher still does not want to be seen as a feminine man, so he feels the need to prove to his students that he, despite being in a “female” profession, is still a man.
  112. When one wants to signal gender identity, both man and woman might begin to act as stereotypes, even inside the classroom.
  113. Homosexual teachers are commented on by students or even other teachers, so some prefer to avoid this embarrassment and try to adapt to the heterosexual stereotype, even though they are not heterosexual.
  114. As there is not enough study on homosexual teachers, media feels entitled to say absurds about gay teachers (calling it “aberrant”, for example).
  115. The reason for media’s behavior is that we assume that children are not only “innocent” but also latent heterosexuals, so that contact with homosexuals in a position of authority would pervert the child (or so conservatives think).
  116. Society wants to increase the boy’s chance of identifying himself as heterosexual by making him ignorant of homosexuality (that’s why many people would think that he can not interact daily with a homosexual in the classroom), which reveals that society is still homophobic, even within of the educational system.
  117. The teachers’ room can be a worse place than the classroom.
  118. One way of asserting their heterosexuality in a homophobic educational system is by hinting on students of the opposite sex.
  119. An act can be both seduction and harassment, so that the person feels gratified for receiving sexual attention, but also alarmed by the way he received such attention.
  120. The school is not the only entity that monitors sexuality: the students also monitor the sexuality of teachers and other employees.
  121. The use of sexual language may be an attempt to gain control.
  122. There are students who fall in love with teachers, but nobody wants to study that phenomenon because it is taboo .
  123. Girls also whistle when they see someone deemed “hot”.
  124. Some students want to marry their teacher (“I want to marry you when I grow up”).
  125. One teacher asked the students to draw themselves in the future: half of the girls drew themselves married, but none of the boys did the same.
  126. The sex education curriculum that is constructed with a heterosexual bias is betraying itself.
  127. Sex education says that sex can be safe, but doesn’t say that sex can be pleasurable.
  128. This is because the girl “is” innocent, when, in fact, this is an attempt to push innocence upon her.
  129. Our reluctance to admit that children are sexual beings and the desire to make the child an innocent being through ignorance prevents us, as adults, from properly dealing with childish issues that have a sexual facet.
  130. The current sex education curriculum is inadequate and is challenged by the child’s own sexual experience.
  131. Of the three school curricula (official, gender roles and sexual experience), only one is learned with a teacher.
  132. Children feel that adults want to remain ignorant of child sexuality, so they have their sexual experiences in secret.
  133. It is not possible to watch over the child at all times, especially outside the home, at school.
  134. They kiss, date, undress and touch.
  135. While the sexuality of children is shocking, adolescent sexuality is taken for granted, as if the person suddenly becomes sexual by their twelth birthday.
  136. Intimate interaction has a role in the formation of gender identity: the boy is trying to act as a boy and the girl is trying to act as a girl.
  137. Sex games are influenced by gender identity and, in turn, influence that identity, bringing one thing closer to the other.
  138. Some children choose a place in the school to do some things that many would call “harassment.”
  139. Children as young as four can participate in the local, informal dating culture.
  140. There are studies about six-year-olds who date.
  141. Thus, it can not be said that the entrance into adolescence is marked by romantic interest, if that interest occurs among children.
  142. The lustful gaze is not exclusive to boys: girls also look at boys with that lustful gaze.
  143. It seems that the students who are most desired by colleagues are the ones who best fit the heterosexual stereotype (the masculine boy and the feminine girl).
  144. Sexual innuendo helps to establish dominant heterosexual social roles among children (if a boy is very close to a girl, they are likely dating).
  145. The same goes for homophobic comments (“you sissy”).
  146. For some children, it is not possible to maintain romance and friendship at the same time, as if they were different levels of affection that do not coexist.
  147. For others, romance and sexuality are something that only adults should do or have.
  148. The frequent conclusion in many studies on child sexuality is that boys’ sexual curiosity is greater, whereas the girl is more interested in feelings of romance.
  149. Even less researched is child homosexuality.
  150. There are sexually confident and sexually informed children.
  151. If you work on the topic of child sexuality but do not consider children’s sexual practices to be “play” or “games”, that is, if you point out that the kids are seriously going for pleasure, you will be viewed with suspicion.
  152. Because child sexuality worries parents.
  153. Not all childhood sexual practices are peaceful; there is sexual harassment in primary school.
  154. If we ignore child sexuality, we will continue to deal with it in the wrong way.
  155. We must stop thinking that children are innocent.
  156. Children are curious about sex and most likely already have sexual knowledge, but knowing that adults do not approve of it, child sexuality is kept hidden from parents by the children themselves.
  157. Sexuality is not given to the child, but is made by the child.
  158. The girl can accept femininity, criticize femininity (creating her own version of what would be “feminine”) or totally reject femininity, which may or may not involve behaving as a boy (assuming masculinity).
  159. Depending on the girl, the traditional image of the female child may give her benefit, limit her freedom or punish her.
  160. The girl’s identity is built when she compares herself to boys and other girls.
  161. When the child creates their own version of what what is considered “feminine” or “masculine,” they are forced to think about how to act in front of the opposite sex.
  162. But whatever the version of femininity adopted by the girl, she usually thinks about how to make her identity attractive to boys.
  163. There are several ways to create a non-stereotypical femininity.
  164. “Ex-girlfriend” is privileged position.
  165. Girls can internalize fashion speech (which is not just clothing but also attitude), which is used as a reference both by girls who accept stereotyped femininity, and by girls who want to move away from “girly” femininity or create their own femininity.
  166. The girls put themselves on attraction ranks.
  167. This makes them overly concerned with their bodies and what they wear, the more they value this type of competition (attraction ranks).
  168. More than that, girls who are higher in the rank of beauty do not want to associate with girls of lower ranks, causing exclusion of the “ugly” girls (even if they are not really ugly, it’s just that there are girls who are way more attractive).
  169. Even if this is not explicitly stated, the girls infer that the girls who are deemed more attractive wouldn’t want association with the less attractive ones.
  170. There is no consensus on how fat you have to be to be called “fat”, so you can be fat for one person and not for another.
  171. The beauty of the body is like a coin, used to buy status and attention from the boys.
  172. When someone says “you’re too thin”, this can be perceived as compliment: it means you do not need to lose more weight than that.
  173. Some girls are envied by adult women, because of their attractiveness.
  174. Every girl has plans for her body, but they are almost always aimed at attracting and drawing attention from boys.
  175. They want to be desired.
  176. If culture presents the female body as a heterosexual object, girls will also treat their bodies as heterosexual objects.
  177. The body is good enough when both boys and girls say you look beautiful.
  178. Being attractive to the boy is more important than being fashionable, at least for the girls interviewed.
  179. Even the fact that you already have a boyfriend can make you more or less attractive depending on who looks at you.
  180. It seems that acting “as a woman”, not as a girl, is considered attractive.
  181. This kind of concern leads some girls to dress in a deliberately provocative way.
  182. But knowing that the clothes show the type of femininity chosen, girls judge themselves by the clothes.
  183. This is not an exclusive behavior of working-class girls; elite girls also employ such efforts.
  184. The exchange of cosmetics among girls is a type of economy.
  185. To put firewood on fire, there are stores that sell cosmetics for children.
  186. Putting makeup on gives these girls a good feel, even if the application is so soft that no one can notice the makeup at all.
  187. In their minds: being fashionable = being beautiful.
  188. You do not have to like fashion, you just have to wear it.
  189. Being fashionable can be an attempt to belong to a group, to feel intimate, even if you do not like what is fashionable.
  190. If the skirt is not short enough, it is folded up.
  191. Being in or out of fashion can have heterosexual motivation: the girl does not want the boy she likes to see and tell her that she is ugly.
  192. Customize the school uniform.
  193. It is normal for children to think that acting like older people is sensual, as all people depicted by media as “attractive” are adult men and adult women.
  194. To keep up with fashion and, therefore, the stereotype of reference, girls consume popular teen culture magazines.
  195. To get the attention of the desired boys, some girls with whom the researcher came into contact with went to the bathroom, dressed up, applied makeup and invaded the field where the boys played football, so that boys would notice them.
  196. Older girls, who were free to practice erotic dance moves, learned these movements and employed them in school (before anyone asks, this study was done in the UK, not in Brazil).
  197. The girl’s appearance is adjusted according to the male demographic of a certain area.
  198. But what is interesting is that all this preoccupation with appearance, a concern that begins and is maintained with boys in mind, empowers boys and men to control female behavior if such concern persists into adulthood, because the woman is adjusting to what men find attractive.
  199. But that varies: girls can use looks to exercise power over boys.
  200. If girls want to look and act sexy it is because they reject the imposition of innocence.
  201. Excessive preoccupation with appearance may not compensate, if aesthetical overcare enslaves you.
  202. This is aggravated when you feel you will be rejected or laughed at by boys and girls if your appearance is not perfect.
  203. These girls, to be accepted, sacrifice their personal taste in the name of collective taste, but this collective taste is dictated by the media, since it is through the media that they learn about fashion, for example, and other popular things.
  204. Children are not concerned with innocence or the loss of it.
  205. Usually only adults care about innocence.
  206. Although the girl is interested in keeping her appearance desirable, she can not achieve this aim with exaggeration, so she is also concerned about the amount of artifacts she will wear (clothing dimensions, makeup level, among others), so that she uses the perfect amount, neither too much nor too little of anything.
  207. There was a girl who wore a skirt short enough to make her tush visible whenever she bent over to get something on the floor.
  208. There is no consensus as to how short a skirt has to be to be considered “too short”.
  209. A too-short skirt raises negative comments among girls.
  210. So worrying about too much makeup or a too-short skirt has no heterosexual purpose, but social purpose: the girl wants to look desirable to the boy without looking ridiculous to other girls.
  211. And there’s the problem of the parents, who complain about the overly provocative look.
  212. The fact that the girl is not innocent does not imply that she has no sense of decency: giving excessive displays of sexuality is something she does not want.
  213. There is a skirt length for school, there is a skirt length for the party …
  214. Among children, it seems that showing sexuality is expected, but giving excessive displays of sexuality is weird, because, girls think, no child would act that way.
  215. That leads them to stipulate what is sexually appropriate to their age and what is reserved for the adult world.
  216. If the girl allows herself to be “excessively” sexual, she runs the risk of looking aberrant , which plays against her heterosexual intentions.
  217. However, these excessive displays exert temptation on girls.
  218. The toughest fashion critic for a girl is the other girls, who have far stricter criteria than boys.
  219. They look at you and judge your appearance.
  220. When a group of girls dress provocatively, the school ends up tolerating, but when a normally behaved girl starts dressing like that too, the school becomes alarmed.
  221. One explanation could be that the behaved girl usually comes from a better family and, by dressing provocatively, she would be adopting a working class behavior.
  222. Another explanation might be that the school is interested in “saving the innocence” of the girl who is starting to dress like that, at same time that the same school isn’t interested in “saving” the girls who already lost it.
  223. The girls copy the look of each other, but can not copy the look of a girls who are much older than them (for reasons discussed in the notes 218-220).
  224. The unwritten rule among girls is that provocation is excessive when it becomes ridiculous.
  225. Now, the book is about girls who reject the popular female stereotype.
  226. Girls who reject the popular stereotype (by struggling in studies and avoiding concerns over boys) are excluded altogether, but form friendships with each other.
  227. Some of these groups of non-stereotypical girls end up gaining a higher status than those whose lives are centered on looks.
  228. While stereotyped girls want to belong, girls who reject the stereotype want individuality.
  229. Because they care less about their appearance, they are less concerned with the appearance of others and less influenced by media control.
  230. “I wear what I want.”
  231. Those girls want to be different.
  232. Because they are less interested in boys, they can afford to wear comfortable rather than provocative clothes.
  233. They want boys who like them for what they are, so if they are heterosexual they will not invest in looks because they do not want a boy who judges them by appearance.
  234. And there is the case of the girl who rejects femininity and assumes masculinity: she will build her aesthetics taking inspiration from boys.
  235. The less sensual look also serves as a way for the girl to signal that she is not like the others.
  236. This type of girl sees that the girls who use their bodies as a means of seduction are subjugated to men (boys, in this case).
  237. The body shouldn’t be treated only as a commodity for the opposite sex.
  238. For these girls, the provocative girls are immature, as they want to feel older than they actually are.
  239. But this is a biased stance: they assume that there is behavior for every age and that you have to conform to it.
  240. Instead of being like everyone, why not seek change?
  241. Because this discourse is minoritary, “different” girls can only survive in a group.
  242. Friendship keeps minorities together and allows them to organize appropriate resistance.
  243. If there are only two identities to choose from, everyone will go for whatever option they think is best, so it’s harder to come up with a third option.
  244. However, perhaps the “excessive” sensualization that the girl imposes on herself is a discourse of nonconformity as well, rejecting of the expectations of others (again, a rejection of innocence).
  245. The “I do not care about boys” speech is not easy to maintain when you’re in love, that’s where the more “progressive” girl ends up in agreeing to practices that she herself considers superficial.
  246. Even among these girls, the aesthetic has some importance, even if it does not take advantage over comfortable clothing.
  247. A girl can jump from very sensual femininity to individualistic femininity depending on the situation and then jump back to where she was in another situation.
  248. This leap is easier to give when the girl is popular, while less popular girls invest only in one form of femininity.
  249. Individualistic girls realize that seductive girls only do two things: nothing and gossiping.
  250. So they try to differentiate themselves in these aspects as well, taking a more active stance.
  251. Something progressive, like playing football in with the boys.
  252. The problem is not so much not being able to play with the boys, but never being able to play at all, because the boys always take the playing space first, as if they had “priority” in places where people practice sports.
  253. The only “masculine” girl who participated in the study said that the boys treated her like a boy and did not object to having her in the teams.
  254. But girls who, even rejecting stereotypical femininity, had not adopted a masculine identity were excluded from the games and spaces in which the boys were already playing.
  255. To subvert this would be another way for these girls to show that they are “not like the others”: invading the boys’ game would be the perfect affirmation of individual femininity over the collective one.
  256. For individualistic girls, there should be no sexual distinction at all: boys and girls should be treated equally.
  257. These girls are able to identify sexual discrimination when they hear it.
  258. Even so, they do not say that there are things that only girls should do.
  259. A girl can be a feminist without even realizing that her position is feminist.
  260. The girls interviewed know that it is easier for a non-masculine girl to be included in boys’ groups if she is dating a boy in that group.
  261. For some, it felt like boys would only accept you around them if you were a girlfriend or assumed a masculine identity.
  262. The girls quickly realized that trying to enter masculine space using feminist discourses was not working.
  263. Girls are bad at football, but how will they improve if you do not let them play?
  264. Even if the girl participates in the game, no one passes the ball to her, so what is made of her feminist speech, employed to participate in the game in the first place?
  265. What is the use of participating in a game if you do not effectively play it?
  266. That caused a reaction of revenge: the girls entered the football field to lay in front of the goal, disrupting the game as a form of protest.
  267. That had a reverse effect, because it validated the boys’ belief that girls did not take football seriously.
  268. You may not want to join a group that hates your behavior.
  269. The only way to belong to the boys’ group, and therefore to get equal status, was to be friends with the boys, but it seemed that boys just wanted to chat with you if you were a girlfriend or ex.
  270. Girls realize that boys give girls access ranks: the more they like you, the more you belong.
  271. Although there are girls who find soccer to be boring and not a right worth fighting for.
  272. When you become part of groups of boys, they treat you better and even talk to you.
  273. But this is not possible without befriending boys.
  274. Girls who have built up their feminine identity as opposed to boys (“against boys”), refusing to get along with boys, can not achieve the same level of equality as those seeking equality through friendship (“with boys” without being “for the boys” or “a boy”).
  275. Deliberately irritating girls give up on equality by seeing that it does not work out, at least not the way they are doing.
  276. Of all the girls studied, about two-thirds adopted a standardized femininity (media-led).
  277. Those who rejected boys-oriented femininity have reached extremes, which have led to both a reduction of femininity and a reduction in levels of sexuality.
  278. The individualistic girls also developed among themselves a discourse of superiority, judging themselves better than other girls and also better than boys.
  279. Compared to girls who accepted boys without neglecting equality and without sexual repression, girls “who hate boys” did less in terms of equality, since the only thing they achieved was the hatred of boys.
  280. It seems that achieving equality requires one of three: boy seduction, participation in boys’ activities or acceptance of male identity over female.
  281. In other words: equality is not possible without considering the boy.
  282. Sometimes it seems like boys loathe girls, so the only way to win their appreciation would be to make their femininity pleasant.
  283. Just as there is not just one kind of femininity, there is not just one kind of masculinity.
  284. The concept of “hegemonic masculinity” was developed to be applied to adult males and its application in the interpretation of the masculinity of the small boy is questionable.
  285. Boys are encouraged to stay away from the girls, so we think the boy is doubly innocent: not only is there supposedly childish innocence, but he is simply away from the ones that might interest him.
  286. The boys studied by the author manifest a desire to be “hegemonic” boys, that is, to adhere to the masculine stereotype.
  287. But how to be a man in a context as childish as primary school?
  288. Most boys fail to pursue this ideal.
  289. But they can get close, for example, by being good at sports.
  290. Sport, in this case, football.
  291. If you divide the yard into a “soccer zone” and “zone of everything else”, it is inevitable that boys, identifying in sport a form of masculine expression, would stay (almost) all on one side only.
  292. So you have a school that, perhaps by accident, sanctioned the cultural separation between boys and girls.
  293. It also pushes boys who do not like football to the other half of the yard, equalling them to girls, who are almost all on the other side.
  294. If playing soccer makes you look more masculine, while there are girls who build their femininity to be attractive to masculine boys, then playing football attracts the chicks.
  295. If that’s the case, even the less masculine boys will consider playing.
  296. Despite this, a third of the boys studied do not want anything with football.
  297. Those who chose football as a means of masculine expression almost breathe football: it’s all that they talk about, it’s everything they consume…
  298. Being better at soccer than others may cause you to feel more “manly” than others.
  299. If boys are kept from playing football, they will choose another “masculine” sport to play.
  300. Or maybe they will play fighting.
  301. In fact, playing fight is the only time when the boy feels completely within the stereotype he desires, but since this type of practice is rarely allowed in school, the quest for stereotyped masculinity is practically impossible there.
  302. Play fighting meets no barriers of age, rank, or social class: all boys in the school come into contact with these games and many will participate.
  303. You do not have to be poor to be a bully.
  304. You can be a bully and Daddy’s little boy.
  305. True, the stereotype of masculinity includes men as family providers or men as big and strong, but since these things are forbidden to children, they can only be athletic or violent (or reject the stereotype, but that’s often regarded as gay).
  306. Violence can be turned to objects.
  307. Injury marks become a reason for pride.
  308. As well as being great ways to start a conversation.
  309. The strong personality of the boy can hide someone who strives not to show emotions, despite being in pain.
  310. The strong boy’s speech is the speech of physical and mental endurance, the discourse of enduring pain and suffering.
  311. Your masculinity is put to test when you hurt yourself.
  312. The problem is that the girl, seeing that the boy is in extreme pain, but resists tears, quickly realizes that he is struggling to maintain the image of “fortitude”.
  313. They see that it is false, that any child in that condition would cry.
  314. To avoid crying, boys laugh.
  315. For these boys studied, crying is ridiculous.
  316. “Showing emotion is gay, they think.
  317. For the stereotyped boy, crying puts his sexual identity into question.
  318. But it seems that showing emotion is only unacceptable if the reason can not be clearly pointed out by others.
  319. If a boy suddenly cries and no one knows the reason, the other boys think it must be a very serious reason and comfort him.
  320. Thus, physical injury or insult is no reason to cry, but there are licit reasons to cry, even among wannabe macho boys.
  321. These reasons can be family problems, loss of friends or romantic disappointment.
  322. How to know if a certain act of violence is just a joke?
  323. For the stronger boy, a certain act may be perceived as joke, but, for the weakest boy, the same joke can be a torment.
  324. We can’t tell for sure when two boys are playing or fighting for real.
  325. It is possible for one child to pick on another as a joke, even though the other does not like it, and then, when someone complains, the stronger child says “I was just kidding.”
  326. In fact, the “macho” boy should endure these jokes, so he feels that he can not complain.
  327. No, he feels like he has to laugh at it.
  328. Since we have the stereotype of a “violent boy,” the adults expect boys to be violent, so that their violence does not shock and can pass as something not worth correction.
  329. The staff intervenes when they see power disparity: if a big boy is picking on a small one, only then the staff intervene.
  330. The staff also intervenes when the fight is good enough to attract audience.
  331. The boys are good at disguising the fights, so that even the teachers do not know when the boys are fighting and when they are playing.
  332. Another technique is to fight with a third boy standing guard, to warn when the teacher is coming.
  333. The researcher herself had to break a fight in which a boy was on the ground, with another boy kicking him in the head and belly (all this while a teacher was in that area, but looking the other way).
  334. Violence as self-defense, as play and as a joke are tolerated among boys, but not violence for sake of violence.
  335. Thus, the “bully,” who attacks to derive pleasure from the pain of others, loses status.
  336. That is because it is also masculine not to fight without reason.
  337. Being strong without being a bully, showing emotion without being effeminate.
  338. Some boys can hit you a thousand times without taking you down, which is frustrating for them.
  339. These weaker boys who try to look strong can never be seem as strong.
  340. On the contrary, they are seen as jokes.
  341. They can even try to hit girls.
  342. They may even fail to hit girls.
  343. To hide the lack of muscles, some prepubescent boys wear loose clothing (with a belt, if necessary).
  344. Plus, this kind of outfit makes you look older, hiding the fact that puberty has not arrived yet.
  345. Having to wear clothes made for older boys is a reason of pride for these boys.
  346. Boys often fail to adhere to the stereotype (built as an adult ideal), but they try anyway.
  347. Male fashion also exists, but there is a problem: if being fashionable can be important, it is also important to give the impression of not caring about fashion.
  348. That is, if you use a haircut that is fashionable, you can not show that you got that haircut because it is fashionable.
  349. That’s because, for the boys in the study, vanity is gay .
  350. The researcher identified two types of pathways to stereotyped masculinity: “macho” (preoccupied with force) and “cool” (preoccupied with appearance).
  351. Two-thirds of the boys studied confess that they are incapable of acting as stereotyped men, but that’s because the male stereotype ( strong, big, family provider and other things) is an adult stereotype , which the boy can not completely imitate for both physical reasons and social reasons, so that they can only imitate what is within reach (good in sports and tough).
  352. Moreover, the failures to adhere to the stereotype frustrate boys who feel that, if they do not conform to the stereotype, they will be regarded as less masculine than the others.
  353. In order to “complete” their masculinity, boys adopt opposite behaviors to girls (“I am a boy, I may not be a man yet, but at least I am not a girl”).
  354. So that nobody thinks that the boy is involved in feminine activities, he moves away from the girls.
  355. As the male stereotype places itself above the female, the boys also try to position themselves as superior.
  356. With limited means of showing superiority, the preferred way for those boys to assert superiority is by giving an unfarily negative treatment to girls “because they are girls”.
  357. If the girl is emotional, the macho boy feels that he can not be emotional, but then what would be the appropriate response to conflict?
  358. Violence.
  359. However, the discourse that “boys are better” is difficult to maintain when a girl outperforms a boy, although that is considered a failure of that particular boy, not of boys in general.
  360. Not that all boys are that way, since there are boys who do not want to follow the masculine stereotype (the researcher uses the term geek to refer to these different boys, but in that term it includes all kinds of boy who do not want to or can not be neither macho nor cool).
  361. The reason why boys want so much to pursue the stereotype is the feeling that they will be less masculine if they do not, since they are pressured from all sides to be heterosexual or at least have a heterosexual image.
  362. To be called gay , for these boys, is the worst insult possible.
  363. So boys who do not adhere to the stereotype and do not try hard to do so are routinely victims of insults and jokes, as if to say “I may not be a complete man, but at least I am not you!”
  364. Different boys are seen as abnormal by the “hegemonic” ones.
  365. If the girl studies, the boy can be regarded as feminine by other boys if he decides to study as well.
  366. If studying is necessary, it is necessary not to be seem studying or to study only when one is obliged to do so.
  367. Messing around in the classroom is not always a masculine reaction to femininity, but it can be a masculine reaction against routine, because classes are just boring.
  368. You do not need bad grades to disrupt lessons.
  369. Disrupting lessons disguises the “effeminate” tendency that some boys have to enjoy studying.
  370. That’s why unruly boys sometimes seem to get good grades “without studying”: they hide the fact that they study, so they are not compared to nerds or girls.
  371. One of the ways to do that is to make fun of the lesson while actually paying attention to it, making it seem like you are not taking the lesson seriously.
  372. Since no one can perfectly mimic the adult male stereotype, boys give a truce to boys who practice other aspects of the stereotype, for example: if they have a girlfriend, it’s okay not to play football.
  373. Other: It’s okay to be studious, if you’re athletic too.
  374. Offering to pick up the ball when it leaves the field is an attempt to belong to that group that uses football as way to exercise masculinity.
  375. “If you can not beat them, join them” is the boy’s motto when he feels that he has to become hegemonic so that the hegemonic boys stop picking on him.
  376. The studious boy who ends up needing to give sports a chance does not necessarily neglect his studies, being able to reconcile both.
  377. Even though you may not yet belong to the hegemonic group, your effort is admired.
  378. One of the boys, tired of being attacked for being studious, began to invest effort in learning to play football, without neglecting his grades, and he managed both to keep grades stable and to be admired for his ability as a goalkeeper.
  379. Girls sometimes wonder what life with the boy they love would be like.
  380. They also have desires for older people, notably male media stars (actors and singers).
  381. There is no fixed age when you start feeling attraction to the opposite sex.
  382. It is possible to date in childhood, although it is a “preparatory” date.
  383. Children kiss.
  384. You can dump a person giving them a letter explaining that the person is dumped if you do not want to say face to face.
  385. The girls in the study created a kind of love support network that worked through cell phones.
  386. Sexuality becomes omnipresent when you are a girl, so you have to stand in favor or against it, but it is impossible to be impartial.
  387. Proof of this is that the girls labeled themselves as “someone’s girlfriend” or “available.”
  388. Without being able to date under the parents’ nose, these minors date at school.
  389. Although they are dating, the dating doesn’t generally include more than holding hands and kissing.
  390. Generally, you can only date one at time.
  391. The child or adolescent who has a girlfriend or boyfriend, enjoys status among other children or adolescents.
  392. The dating has to be visible to have an effect on status.
  393. Unless they are dating, it is unlikely that boy and girl would play together on primary school.
  394. Dating is signaling your sexual orientation.
  395. The pressure to date is greater on girls.
  396. If the dating pratices are more “childish” or more “adolescent,” it depends on the environment.
  397. Although there is pressure to date, it’s not an easy thing to do: of the girls studied, only seven were regularly involved in the dating culture.
  398. Those who did not participate regularly ended up participating intermittently as helpers (for example, delivering love or dumping letters).
  399. Other non-active participants served as “match makers”.
  400. In primary school, some dates can last twenty minutes.
  401. Mediation is a manifestation of friendship between the messenger and the person who sends the message, who may be embarrased to give the message in person.
  402. All the girls studied desired someone .
  403. The desire for the opposite sex was often manifested by girls, but rarely by boys.
  404. Yes, some girls admit to desiring grown men .
  405. There was one who commented that her neighbor (who is twenty-eight) had a “good bum”.
  406. Some girls, when they think of their romantic futures, think of divorce.
  407. Although they all desired someone, one of the girls said that despite this she would not date before she was older.
  408. She seemed to be disgusted by kissing.
  409. The desired man or boy may be someone from the school, some celebrity or an acquaitance.
  410. When the girl feels that she is a failure at dating, she tries to turn the attention of the conversation to a boyfriend she once had, to distract from the fact that she does not have a boyfriend at the moment.
  411. There was a girl who loved her boyfriend so much that she skipped potty breaks just to be around him.
  412. One day, she wet herself.
  413. Because having a boyfriend is something valued by friends, some girls go out with boys they do not like, just to participate in the dating culture.
  414. Desperation can lead them seek boys who may even treat them badly.
  415. But dating someone who treats you badly can also happen because you like that person regardless of their difficult personality.
  416. And when the breakup occurs, you still like him “a little.”
  417. After the breakup, the girl sometimes feels like coming back, even if the ex-boyfriend treats her like trash.
  418. Because getting dumped is a painful experience, girls comfort each other, often in the girls’ bathroom.
  419. Being dumped causes feelings of unhappiness and insecurity.
  420. You suffer more from a dumping the more you think that romance is important.
  421. If the boy ends the relationship, the girl may be devastated, but she feels powerful and in control when she is the one dumping.
  422. The boy may not even care, but the girl has the feeling that “he’s probably crying himself in private right now” and delights in that feeling.
  423. Some girls can only exert power over boys through these relationships.
  424. This is because, in a heterosexual relationship, their femininity is never at risk, so it is safe to break the female stereotype in that condition.
  425. Boyfriend rotation is a great way to play with boys’ feelings.
  426. This haste to date does not invalidate friendships (boys and girls who aren’t ina  relationship, but are close friends).
  427. The problem is that the other girls find it difficult to see how a girl and a boy can be friends, looking at it as an “undeclared relationship.”
  428. Despite this, in an intimate friendship, it is almost impossible not to consider the possibility of dating your friend.
  429. However, there is a factual risk of dating dissolving the friendship that will not be there when the relationship is over.
  430. Dating the friend can be a bad idea and can alienate that friend.
  431. You are his friend, then you start to desire him, then you date him, then the relationship ends, you stay away from each other, then you become friends again, and then … you start to desire him again …
  432. Suspicion about friendships between boy and girl is promoted even by parents who, seeing their son being friends with a girl, say that it is puppy love, even if they don’t mean to be serious when they say that.
  433. This is annoying to the child: she can not make friends with someone of the opposite sex without being subjected to this kind of embarrassing comment.
  434. The reason girls look for friendship with boys is that boys are different, allowing them to get out of the sameness of their feminine circles of friendship.
  435. A girl prioritizes different aspects in different friendships: with the girls, her friendship serves more to speak intimate things and, with the boys, her friendship serves more to have fun.
  436. Boys who make friends with girls are those who do not treat them as socially different.
  437. The boy’s point of view on an issue can teach the girl to deal with a problem in a way that other girls could not.
  438. Although the girl can date someone she does not like, she does not make friends with people she does not like.
  439. If the girls looks for friendships with boys because she is tired of the sameness of girl friendship circles, it follows that she would rather befriend a boy who is more masculine.
  440. If you date for status, it’s not any boy that does the job.
  441. For example, even though the girl likes a younger boy, she can not date him if what she wants is status (it has to be a same-age peer).
  442. If status comes from the visibility of the relationship, the ideal boy needs to be around the girl’s age and needs to be as masculine as possible (“Chad”).
  443. Popular matchmaker can take advantage of their status as matchmakers to bring together two people they do not like or to create deliberately disfunctional couples in order to disadvantage people who are down in the heterosexual school hierarchy.
  444. Sadistic matchmakers find it funny to bring the wrong people together, but only do so when they themselves have a high rank on the heterosexual scale (“Stacy“).
  445. Girls who are high on the heterosexual rank sometimes humiliate boys whom they consider to be failed males.
  446. They get together and pick on that boy (female-promoted group bullying) for being a romantic failure.
  447. Although boys do not like those who attack others for the pleasure of hurting them, there does not seem to be the same rule among girls, who derive pleasure from injuring boys verbally as long as these boys are below them on the heterosexual scale.
  448. A form of attack used by those girls is sneaking on the boy from behind and pulling his pants down (sometimes even with his underwear).
  449. This shows that the girl is not sexually passive by nature: she advances on boys, for good and for bad.
  450. At least inside school, sexual activity among children usually does not go beyond kissing.
  451. Emphasis on “generally”: the researcher noticed children lying together under a tree and the boy sat on the girl and squeezed her waist with his legs before bending forward and kissing her.
  452. You can not do much in school, so the “rest” has to be done elsewhere.
  453. Children feel powerful in doing questionable things because they are breaking the rules of adults and getting away with it.
  454. Outside the school, in the child’s room, the girls come together to play truth or dare .
  455. They take their boyfriends with them.
  456. The girls interviewed said that during a birthday party, some children stayed after the party to play truth or dare in the dark.
  457. When it wasn’t their turn, the inactive children in the game took advantage of the darkness to be naughty.
  458. A boy lifted someone’s skirt.
  459. That kind of thing is a reason for shame if done at school, because teachers can see and shame you.
  460. One of the teachers did just that when she found two couples of students in one of the dormitory rooms, the four brats (two boys and two girls) half-naked, two in each bed.
  461. The girls were warned about the “dangers” of early sexual activity and that students should persevere in maintaining a “good reputation” rather than entering the dormitory of the opposite sex.
  462. Strangely, the schools studied never blame the boy for these occurrences: responsibility falls upon the girl.
  463. That’s because there’s a belief that the boy’s sexual curiosity is hard to control, so it’s the girls fault for provoking his feelings.
  464. The sexually active girl is treated by the teachers as a shame to all girls, although she probably will not accept that as truth.
  465. If a richer girl exhibited the same behavior, she would be more easily forgiven.
  466. Where does childhood end and where does adolescence begins?
  467. There are children who aren’t 12 yet and, nonetheless, look like they are 14 (age of consent in Brazil ).
  468. When questioned by an older boy about oral sex, one of the girls laughed and talked to him about orgasms, showing sexual knowledge.
  469. But when one of the boys tried to persuade the girl to abandon her boyfriend in favor of him, the researcher came to realize that the girl’s smile was likely forced…
  470. It was as if she wanted the conversation to stop, but she was ashamed or perhaps afraid to stop it.
  471. The boy was trying to arrange a meeting with her, even though they did not know each other for more than an hour and had already talked about sex.
  472. When the contact progresses too fast, the girls get scared.
  473. The difference between the game of truth or dare in the birthday party and these sudden advances is the familiarity and the limit: everyone in the game of truth or dare knew each other from the same school and used the game to know the limits of each other, which does not happen with the girl who, sighted by a strange boy, hears an “I want your body”.
  474. Girls say that this sudden behavior is typical of older boys who think that the girls are older than they actually are (they would not act that way if they knew that those girls were children).
  475. In addition, sudden advances make the girl feel that she is about to be raped.
  476. Fortunately, girls know that in situations like those, they can run, call for help or kick the boy’s nuts.
  477. The researcher now documents abusive sexual experiences, which will be, for reporting purposes, defined as negative , that is, the researcher does not include in the category of abuse the sexual interactions that the girls considered positive .
  478. Thus, the researcher uses the child’s judgment to identify which acts have been abusive or not , rather than using her judgment: the child will say whether the act was abusive or whether it was funny or gratifying.
  479. When a girl abuses a boy (making an undesired sexual advance), he may well reciprocate, so that the boys who occupy the worst places on the heterosexual scale, who are the target of the girls’ humiliations, are the ones who also humiliate girls the most, as revenge.
  480. Example: punching the girl’s breasts or pulling her bra.
  481. But, at least in the cases studied, the girls did not report what happened to the staff, because they:
    1. Didn’t think it was big deal.
    2. Feared adult reaction.
    3. Felt shame.
    4. Felt that the staff would not consider what happened as worthy of correction.
    5. Were already “used to it”.
  482. In such a situation, they cover their breasts, say they do not want to be touched and leave.
  483. That means that not all sexual experiences in primary school are positive.
  484. They pull boys’ pants, but the boys then lift girls’ skirts.
  485. The maintenance of the dating culture is promoted exclusively by the girls.
  486. The findings of this study validate the findings of other studies done in other populations.
  487. Thus, the ” sexual child ” is not an isolated phenomenon and to say that children are innocent is to lie to oneself.
  488. Pretending that the child is asexual prevents us from giving due importance to certain things that happen in front of us, such as child sexual harassment, sexual curiosity, and the first good experiences, things that children do not reveal to adults because they know it would upset them .
  489. If the adults expect the girl to be innocent , she will not speak of any possible sexual harm she has received, which could result in harm to herself .
  490. When a man dates a woman, man traditionally goes into the role of superior, but when a boy dates a girl, he does not go into the same role.
  491. If dating is masculine, the boy better take care not to be manipulated and maybe controlled by his girlfriend.
  492. Although dating is masculine, this is an optional practice for the boy with aspirations of being a man, that is, you are more masculine if you are dating, but not less masculine for not dating (not dating is not gay or effeminate).
  493. This is because boys, by complementing their incomplete stereotyped masculinity by opposing femininity, feel that moving away from girls is not detrimental to pursued masculinity.
  494. The boy who wants to declare love for a girl finds more barriers to do so, such as embarrassment.
  495. Being in love can be reason for anxiety to the shy boy.
  496. When the subject rises in a circle of conversation, the boy may denigrate the person he likes, in order to deny the fact that he does like her.
  497. If the boy likes the girl, he has to get close to her, that is, betting part of his already stablished amounts of masculinity to see if he gets the double amount afterwards.
  498. The implicit risks are receiving comments from friends, both for trying to get close and for failing if it happens.
  499. But these risks diminish in subsequent attempts.
  500. It seems that, in the judgment of these boys, playing footbal and not having a girlfriend is more masculine than having a girlfriend and not playing football.
  501. It is more preferable to be in the first group because the more “masculine” boys end up being wanted by the girls (who may also be interested in the status of dating a “real man”), so that less athletic boys end up with girls considered less attractive.
  502. Although dating is a great experience for the girl, most boys who have had girlfriends say that the experience was not the best.
  503. That’s because girls make demands that boys do not always want to keep, like kissing them whenever they want.
  504. They expect the boy to change for them, including his policy of physical contact.
  505. In addition, they can hold the affection hostage (“do this, or I’ll break up with you”).
  506. Girls are more likely to dump a partner than boys, suggesting that they are more often interested in changing partners.
  507. When the girl disappoints the boy or quarrels with him, she pretends that everything is fine minutes later, although, deep down, the boy did not forgive her.
  508. The opinion of one of the boys studied is that the girls often use you: after having gathered the courage to declare love to a person you like, she makes demands on you, does not respect your feelings, expects you to respect her feelings and still threat to dump if you “rebel”.
  509. She might break up with you because they have found someone better, so nevermind your efforts to maintain the relationship.
  510. Others dump you without saying why.
  511. Last, there are girls who admit to have just used you when they dump you (implying the relationship never existed in the first place).
  512. For the boy, dating is usually difficult and may not be worth it.
  513. He feels incapable of dating, because, after all, he does not have the privileges that the grown man has to balance that kind of relationship.
  514. The reason a boy seeks dating, then, is social: there is pressure for this, although dating is an often degrading experience.
  515. That’s why boys prefer soccer over girls; it’s not that girls are not attractive and it’s not that they can not be cool, it’s just that getting involved with them is boring and complicated.
  516. If they can look for their masculinity elsewhere, boys will not want a date.
  517. Dating, then, can wait until the conditions are more favorable.
  518. Some boys like older women, but understand that those older women would not want kids as partners.
  519. You at least have your fantasies.
  520. It’s not dating if you just hold hands and chat.
  521. There was a boy who confessed, during the interviews, that he wants to have sex .
  522. But the boys feel that their sexual information is incomplete and that sex education classes are not enough for them to perform well, if sex had to happen immediately.
  523. For these boys, sex has to happen sooner or later, but with the information they have, the boys prefer it to be later.
  524. They want sexual information because they want to try sex out and feel that they can not do it if they do not know how have sex in the first place.
  525. Without that information, they are too insecure to do anything beyond kissing.
  526. Sex education classes, the boys say, are insufficient because they do not teach how to have sex.
  527. In practice, they are anatomy classes: they explain the genitals and their function without explaining how to use them.
  528. One of the boys found an image of three women embracing shirtless in an old newspaper they would use in art class.
  529. He loved the image, called the others, and soon a lot of boys were gathered around the newspaper wiht that image.
  530. The teacher picked up the newspaper and said, “it almost looks like you guys have never seen a naked woman! “(Remembering, this was observed in primary school).
  531. There was a boy who had an erection during sex education class.
  532. Of course he told that to the boy sitting next to him (so much for the anti-gay speech).
  533. This shows that male sexual curiosity is not fully satisfied by sex education classes.
  534. The use of sexual language and sexual humor is a way of validating stereotyped masculinity too, a constant way of saying “I’m macho!”.
  535. If boys are curious about sex, we can infer that they aren’t inherently appalled by sexual knowledge.
  536. Sexual harassment promoted by boys is more often seen in the form of sexual cursing, like “bitch.”
  537. Girls usually do not report this, obviously, as it’s a small offense.
  538. The pubescent girl can be target of cursing directed at her puberty (“big-titted cow”).
  539. Usually, this is done as a joke, but not always.
  540. The girls are offended, but not always.
  541. Sexual gestures and sexual words can also be used to intimidate.
  542. They can also be response to the “use” that girls make of their boyfriends.
  543. Sexual cursing can be a response to frustrating things, so even teachers are cursed at when they abuse of their authority.
  544. If they can be responses to frustrations, it is natural that those who are lowest on the heterosexual rank (those who are most rejected) are the ones who curse the most.
  545. Sexual curses as well as sexual misconduct (raising the girl’s skirt) are not seen as harmful by boys, although they may be recognized as offensive.
  546. However, beating the girl is something reprehensible among boys, just as girls find it wrong to beat boys up.
  547. Boys who hit girls may be frustrated that they can not claim their masculinity in face of other boys, through sports or fighting games.
  548. They then try to show masculinity by beating girls, but that has a reverse effect: beating girls is not masculine, it’s cowardice.
  549. The term ” gay” is not always understood in the same way.
  550. Often, gay is not even used in the sexual sense.
  551. The boys in the study, however, use the term gay as a derogatory, designating the boy who does not want to be a stereotyped man, the boy who is physically close to other boys or the boy who only spends time with girls.
  552. Boys are not the only ones who put the masculinity of other boys in question: even girls and even teachers tease the more effeminate boys.
  553. Saying that someone is gay serves the same purpose of telling that person to “man up.”
  554. Also serves to position boys in ranks of masculinity.
  555. Thus, primary school can be a highly homophobic environment, literally because boys are afraid of being called gay by others, that is, of having their masculinity offended.
  556. These boys, because of their appreciation of their own masculinity and the fear of having their masculinity attacked, end up looking at homosexuals as aberrant, that is, they become homophobic for real.
  557. It is especially frustrating when you are a male primary student and your voice is feminine.
  558. Boys can judge adults as gay too, not reserving this insult (because they use it as an insult) only to other boys.
  559. However, this childlike homophobia is meant to ward off accusations directed at the boy’s own masculinity (“How can you call me gay, if you see how much I hate them?”).
  560. If stereotyped masculinity can not be completely attained by boys, they must defend this incomplete masculinity with misogynist or homophobic discourses, in order to dispel accusations of homosexuality or femininity, which are opposed to the masculinity that the boy wants to attain.
  561. This gets even more confusing when a person regarded by boys as gay can date a girl when they themselves can not (“is gay or not?”).
  562. For those who see masculinity as a static concept, which must be totally accepted or totally rejected, the boy who is both heterosexual and effeminate is a living enigma.
  563. The study now focuses on three prototypical “Chads”.
  564. For these three boys, dating is not at all negative.
  565. They spend time and effort improving their dating skills .
  566. These few boys who have good relationships are taken as a reference for others who want to do the same.
  567. This success guarantees them the desire of other girls and also an increase in their popularity .
  568. The heterosexual identity of these boys was established by relationships of long duration or by multiple relationships (one of the boys already had two girlfriends at the same time).
  569. If girls can use boys as a status symbol , so can boys, picking the girl by her looks alone and dating her, maybe just to show they can date whoever they want.
  570. One of the relationships described by the boys and observed by the researcher lasted three years (and you thought that children do not date).
  571. This long-lasting relationship, with intense physical manifestation, worried teachers who realized that those two children were dating seriously, which challenged adults’ idea that children are incapable of feelings of love, other than the love they have for their parents.
  572. The staff then broke the relationship by putting them in different classrooms, stopping the behavior seen as dangerously precocious.
  573. The school saw that relationship, which would be acceptable among adults, as “sick.”
  574. But the boy had achieved a reputation thanks to that three-year-long relationship in primary school, which allowed him to date other girls more easily.
  575. The school’s attempt to discourage physical contact by breaking the three-year-long relationship had the opposite effect: the boy was now interested in “casual” relationships, which prioritize physical contact over emotional attachment.
  576. The school aggravated the “problem” because he once focused his feelings on one girl and now he kept going from girl to girl.
  577. The problem is that the girl who stayed with him for three years did not recover from the breakup.
  578. She persisted in trying to get him to like her again, to no avail.
  579. The school, thinking that short-term relationships are not “real” relationships (therefore appropriate for “innocent children”) and that monogamy would be a sign of an “adult” relationship, accidentally taught the boy to be Chad, ironically to save his “innocence.”
  580. A person can enjoy dating (for adventure, pleasure or status) without liking the partners as persons.
  581. However, the partner sometimes continues to love even after being discarded.
  582. The boy can try to seduce the girl by adopting a more mature behavior than what would be normal for his age, through a look inspired by the high school boys or teachers.
  583. One of the boys had such adolescent-inspired look and was rather misogynistic.
  584. The girls generally hated his attitude of acting as someone older and hated the way they were treated by him, but despite this he was never single, something that the researcher thought was disturbing.
  585. The second lover boy found his true love in the sixth relationship.
  586. Unlike the first “professional boyfriend” (from notes 570 to 584), the second lover boy is not misogynist and likes to spend time befriending girls.
  587. Knowing that having girls as friends hurt his male image, he also played football (and played well).
  588. He was romantic and liked to dream of a future in which he and his beloved would form a family.
  589. For him, dating is feeling the taste of marriage without consuming it.
  590. The second lover boy, despite being in love with his sweetheart, did not feel less of a friend of her, suggesting that friendship and love can be coexist in the same couple.
  591. The second boy’s popularity with the girls seemed to lie in the fact that he did not treat the girls as different from each other, talking to all girls and listening to all girls, without privileging any.
  592. Because of this, even when his relationship with his sweetheard came to an end, there was a line of girls openly interested in him.
  593. When he received love letters from four girls at once, he needed a week to decide who to stay with.
  594. Unfortunately, he never carried a relationship for too long, except that one time with his sweetheart (that relationship lasted six months).
  595. Thus, he was regarded as a Chad, because, with the other girls, he could only keep the relationship for a few weeks before dumping the girl.
  596. For the other boys, that was because all girls in the classroom wanted to be around him, making it a painful choice.
  597. The second boy says he does not have to do anything to get girls’ attention, it’s just the way he is.
  598. This causes jealousy in other boys, who have to work hard to get unsatisfying relationships.
  599. Interested in girls and knowing that sex education is practically useless to satisfy his curiosity, the second boy complements his knowledge on the opposite sex by reading his sister’s teen magazines.
  600. This sister sees the boy’s attitude as a sign of maturity and supports him when he needs it, because she too had gone through that “stage”.
  601. The boys interviewed would like to learn about contraception.
  602. One of the interviewed boys said that, if he were to rely solely on the sex education he has at school, he will reach age nineteen just as uninformed as then (at the time of the interview, he was eleven).
  603. He wants to know how to have sex, and he wants to know that now .
  604. As the second boy is a success with girls and also plays soccer, he does not need misogynistic speech nor anti-gay talk to “complete” his masculinity.
  605. The strategy of being nice to the girls also worked with the third “professional boyfriend” (though he seemed to lean more to friendship).
  606. To sum up: although most boys believe that a “real” sexuality is something for when they are older and better informed, while others had disastrous experiences with love, there is an precocious minority that lives the sexuality as far as they can, invading the terrain socially reserved for adolescents.
  607. However, it should be noted that all boys have a sexual curiosity that is not fully satisfied by school sex education and are also afraid that the absence of such information will turn them into sexually incompetent adults, which would be embarrassing.
  608. The study now turns again, and more deeply, to boys and girls who reject the stereotype or fail to follow it satisfactorily.
  609. First, not conforming to the expectation does not guarantee that you will always be subjugated.
  610. Second, you do not have to reject the stereotype altogether, but you can reject parts of it, and if you’re good at other aspects of the stereotype, you can get away with it.
  611. To be sexually marginalized, you need to invest in a sexuality that is different from that of others and at the same time make others see you and treat you differently because of it.
  612. Majority sees itself as “normal” because there’s a minority that they can label as “sick“.
  613. One third of the interviewed boys and a quarter of the girls did not strive to follow the stereotype all the time (as we have seen, some boys traded aspects of the stereotype, while there were girls who rejected the female stereotype completely).
  614. You may also be discriminated for violating the boundaries of the “age-appropriate” behavior.
  615. Although the boy who invests in “feminine” behavior is called gay by the others, the girl who invests in “masculine” behavior, at least in the cases observed, is not called a lesbian because of that.
  616. Although the more feminine boy always receives the same forms of discrimination (such as name-calling), the more masculine girl is discriminated in a range of different ways by other girls.
  617. The boys who were the most discriminated, according to the researcher, were those who did not play football, because, as we saw, this was the main way to show masculinity in the primary school.
  618. The girls who were most discriminated against, according to the researcher, were those who did not participate in the “girlie” culture, constructed “for the boy” (being attractive to the boys and trying to get involved with the boys for romance).
  619. One of the interviewed girls likes to beat the boys she likes, which is both embarrassing and uncomfortable for the boy, who starts to avoid her.
  620. There are also girls who threaten to hit the boy who dumps them.
  621. Some kids play “pretend”, with a sexual twist.
  622. In such fantasy games (reported by the boys), the participants are usually of the same sex, so, to “eliminate” traces of homosexuality, one or more of the boys who are playing has to assume the role of a girl or woman.
  623. However, playing this kind of game is not indicative of homosexuality, neither present nor future.
  624. The boys did not return to this subject (sexual playing pretend) in later interviews and only discussed it once.
  625. The researcher also thought, however, that it would be better not to touch the subject again …
  626. This type of game does not take place in public (obviously), where the boys try hard to be masculine, but at home or in empty classrooms.
  627. It is also in situations like those that boys show physical affection among each other (caressing the hair of each other, for example), which would be considered gay , but nobody is watching.
  628. When a child is discriminated against because they can not or do not wish to participate in the expected behavior for their sex (the boy who does not play football or the girl who does not diet), the school staff is unable to provide any constructive advice to the discriminated child.
  629. Because the girl feels that talking to teachers and staff about discrimnation does not work, she stops reporting that behavior.
  630. The child can tell parents that they are being discriminated against, causing parents to talk to the school’s staff and, onetheless, the situation can remain the same.
  631. The peaceful boy who suffers physical violence at school can be encouraged by his parents to take revenge … but he does not want revenge, he does not want conflict in the first place.
  632. If the peaceful boy has to receive that kind of advice from his parents, it follows that he can’t count on his parents to change the situation.
  633. Because there are many children, it is not possible to intervene in all conflicts, so the staff and teachers only intervene when the situation is already very bad.
  634. Just as the female stereotype limits the girl’s freedom, the male stereotype limits the boy’s freedom, so adhering to the stereotype brings security at the expense of freedom.
  635. You, for example, can not be free to discuss your musical tastes if they are not compatible with the stereotype.
  636. It seems like you have to stop liking what you like, just because of your sex.
  637. It is easier for the girl to engage in male behavior and get away with it, compared to the boy who tries out stereotypically feminine behavior.
  638. Knowing that “boys do not hit girls”, the girls regularly beat boys without suffering retaliation.
  639. When she is beaten back, she rushes to the first teacher she sees, cries and then, you guessed it, the boy is the one to blame (where is feminism to speak of equal rights and equal treatment now?).
  640. At least, the girl who beats boys is regarded as less feminine by normal girls, so retaliation may come from girls themselves.
  641. If marginalized boys and marginalized girls join forces to challenge gender roles together, they would have a chance to turn the tables.
  642. However, all the marginalized boys and girls were in same-sex friendship groups, mitigating that potential.
  643. This is because, for the boy who can not or does not want to play football or date, the only thing he can do to be masculine is to avoid company with girls.
  644. Although there were friendship groups among these discriminated boys, eventually group members caved to the pressure and struggled to embrace the stereotype at the cost of the little freedom they still had to be who they really were, so that groups of rejected boys became smaller and smaller.
  645. The better your grades, the richer you are, the less gender role matters.
  646. How to get good grades, lose weight, have a boyfriend and read those magazines at the same time?
  647. It is difficult to reconcile the female gender role with academic success.
  648. But if the real man is expected to be intelligent, then the studious boy, if he is discriminated against in primary school for not playing football, might have better status in high school.
  649. It’s interesting how discrimination sometimes depends on the environment: the person who is your friend outdoors may not want to be seen with you in school.
  650. Strangely, the child can behave in a certain way when he / she is in school and in a totally different way when the class is dismissed.
  651. The study concludes by saying that heterosexuality is a regulatory force that permeates primary school, giving power to some and weakening others in their ways of living their own gender identity.
  652. That’s because the whole society expects the child to grow heterosexual, so that the kid is constantly under pressure.
  653. Child sexuality exists.
  654. The child himself can contribute to this policy of compulsory heterosexuality through discrimination.
  655. Children who resist the stereotype resist better when they are together.
  656. Considering all that has been seen, it is concluded that sexual education, as it is, is insufficient.
  657. The girl has more need to project heterosexuality through the relationship than the boy.
  658. The girl seeks her femininity in accepting or rejecting sexual behavior “for the boy”, while the boy seeks his masculinity in football, fighting games, having girlfriends, sexual or homophobic speech and withdrawing from girls’ company.
  659. For the girl, a girl who does not want to date is less feminine.
  660. Gender roles differ: what is masculine or feminine here may not be elsewhere.
  661. Sexual education must cease to be strictly biological and enter into the field of sexual orientation and the construction of sexual identity, that is, to participate in the complete reality of the child.
  662. Public policy encourages adults to view child sexuality always from the point of view of abuse .
  663. Adults do not want to admit that child sexuality exists, let alone admit it’s positive potential.
  664. This fear of child sexuality is more common among parents .
  665. Thus, school sex education is doomed to redundancy: new generations are more sexually informed, then a sex education concerned with what to teach and at what age end up always falling behind the knowledge that the child already has.
  666. That makes sex education unable to answer the questions that modern children have.
  667. Sex education is afraid to talk about sexual pleasure, which children often feel, desire, and seek.
  668. It is not the teacher’s fault; the person doing the curriculum guidelines is the one to blame.
  669. If the boy does not find his answers in sex education, he will look for them somewhere else .
  670. Why not apply the Paulo Freire method to sex education and use the child’s own experiences as starting points for lessons?
  671. The fact that sex education is not compulsory makes things worse.
  672. Prejudice against child sexuality must be abandoned and the phenomenon must be studied objectively.
  673. The opinion of the child on their own experiences should be taken into consideration by policy makers.
  674. Doing so means defying the moral panic in the media and in government.
  675. Gender roles are hurting children by dictating a “normal” behavior.
  676. When two eight-year-old boys had been seen kissing and the others began to attack them, one of the girls who saw the incident defended the boys, asking “how would you feel if people thought that it’s wrong when a boy and a girl date?”, trying to invoke empathy in the heterosexual crowd.
  677. “If that’s what they want,” she said, “it’s not our problem.”

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