Many young boys today face confusing messages from the media, video games and pop culture about what it means to be a “real boy” or “real man.” Often, these messages can be skewed towards hypermasculinity, misogyny and even homophobia. Examples include social media platforms that use complex algorithms and “click bait” imagery to market to boys in hope of influencing their future buying decisions. All this leaves many middle school aged boys even more confused about what it means to identify as male in this culture. To offer guidance and bust some myths, YFS School-based Mental Health Counselor at Islander Middle School (IMS), Harry Brown, MA, LMFT, and YFS Clinical Intern at IMS, Josh Schmader, are launching a Boys Council group for sixth grade boys.
Boys Council works to “promote boys’ natural strengths and to increase their options about being male in today’s world.” Brown and Schmader will engage these boys in activities and dialogue that challenges stereotypes while increasing their cultural and media literacy and strengthening relationships with peers and adult facilitators. For additional information, contact Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.