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Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Menby Peggy Drexler Ph. D.
"Raising Boys Without Men is as much a work of advocacy as objective research. As such, it's the latest entry in the ever growing field of 'You go, girl!' studies. There is nothing a woman can do that is so fundamentally self-centered that it won't be met with a cackle of 'You go, girl!' from a female somewhere on the planet. It's a way of transforming an essentially selfish act into one of liberation, and thereby protecting it from male criticism." Caitlin Flanagan, the Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
Synopses & Reviews
Raising thriving, emotionally healthy sons does not require a man around the house! That's the conclusion of a groundbreaking research study that will open eyes, stir debate, and reassure nearly 10 million single mothers.
As the number of single-mom and two-mom households has grown, so have concerns about the possible damage to boys caused by the lack of a male role model in the house. Peggy F. Drexler, Ph.D., listened to all the dire warnings; but her training as a research psychologist told her she had to see the evidence. So she embarked on a long-term study comparing boys raised in female-headed families with those whose fathers were present throughout their childhood. What Dr. Drexler discovered is as heartening as it is startling:
"Single or gay mothers-whom Drexler dubs 'maverick moms'-are 'real' parents, in case anyone needed reminding. The families they create are 'as real and as legitimate as any other.' The author, an assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, bases her book on an extensive research study she conducted. Though she's curiously cagey on numbers, she does reveal that she interviewed a variety of lesbian mothers, single mothers, sons of single moms and sons of two-mother families. The results of her survey serve as a refreshing antidote to critics who insist that family life today is on the verge of being atomized. In an upbeat but never preachy tone, Drexler retells anecdote after anecdote illustrating her point (namely, that female-headed households may be better for boys than households with men). The book is mostly narrative in structure, with bulleted points at the end of each chapter explaining what 'maverick moms' do that makes them successful parents (they encourage their sons to participate in a wide variety of activities; they actively recruit male figures from their families and the community to be in their sons' lives; they model the behavior they want their sons to emulate, and set examples of strength and compassion; etc.). This important work will serve as a beacon to the country's nearly 10 million single mothers. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The author embarked on a long-term study comparing boys raised in female-headed families with those whose fathers were present throughout their childhood. Her finding: Female-headed households may be even better parents for boys than households with men.
About the Author
PEGGY F. DREXLER, PH.D., is a former gender scholar at Stanford University and faculty member of the Payne-Whitney Clinic of New York Hospital/Cornell Medical School. Currently a member of the board of NYU's Child Study Center, she lives in New York.
LINDEN GROSS, former special features editor of the Los Angeles Times, is an accomplished ghostwriter with several notable books to her credit, including Julia "Butterfly" Hill's The Legacy of Luna. She lives in Northern California.
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