Raising Boys Without Men
How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men
Rodale, July 2005
According to prevailing wisdom, a boy must be raised with a man in the house; otherwise, he's bound to be a failure. That same wisdom tells us that mothers left to their own devices will smother their sons and turn them into sissies, and that sons of unmarried mothers are destined to a life of crime.
I wasn't quite convinced that this "common" knowledge was accurate or true so I embarked on a groundbreaking study that compared boys from female-headed households with boys from traditional mom-and-dad families.
The results were published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal and they were so heartening that I expanded focus for the book to include other types of woman-headed households. Raising Boys Without Men is an examination of these boys and their amazing mothers.
Rebutting confidently spouted opinions to the contrary, my research shows that boys raised without fathers are socially savvy, generous, caring communicators, while still remaining extremely "boyish"—passionate about sports and adept at rough-housing with friends.
These boys' maverick moms are pioneering a new form of parenting that rejects social judgments about family structure and gender stereotype, and which stresses the importance of communication, community, and love. These brave women have much to teach us about a better way to raise tomorrow's men.
Praise for the Book
—Carol Gilligan, Ph.D., bestselling author of The Birth of Pleasure and In a Different Voice
—Henry Louis Gates W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University
—Margaret Carlson, first woman columnist, Time Magazine, political columnist, Bloomberg News, and Washington editor of The Week magazine.
—Jann Wenner, editor and publisher, Rolling Stone Magazine
—Rita Henley Jensen, founder and editor in chief, Women's eNews
Finalist: Books for a Better Life Award in Parenting. Books for a Better Life awards recognize and pay tribute to outstanding and influential self-help, motivational, self-improvement or advice books.
Finalist: Lambda Literary Award in Nonfiction—The Lambda Literary Foundation celebrates achievements in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) literature.
Best-Seller: San Francisco Chronicle—“Raising Boys Without Men, Peggy Drexler, a study by a Cornell psychology professor finds that single mothers and lesbian couples are just as effective at raising sons as more traditional families.”
Hot Summer Read: Harper’s Bazaar