The day I started collecting data for my book The Declining Significance of Homophobia: How Teenage Boys Are Redefining Masculinity and Heterosexuality, I was nervous about how I would experience the next year of my life. I was about to spend the next 12 months in schools, hanging out with and getting to know 16- to 18-year-old male students. Socializing with straight guys wasn't something I had found particularly easy when I was a closeted, geeky teenager 10 years ago. Back then, teenage boys were homophobic, misogynistic, and aggressive. They distanced themselves from anything deemed gay or feminine. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found out that these teenage boys today have adopted a new, softer version of masculinity. Collecting data with hundreds of male students across three high schools in the south of England, I found a new generation of young men had redefined masculinity in ways unrecognizable to their fathers. Here are 10 of my favorite differences:
10 Surprising Facts About Straight Teenage Boys
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