Brett Kavanaugh accused; Bill Cosby sentenced: Raising boys amid #MeToo

Brett Kavanaugh accused; Bill Cosby sentenced: Raising boys amid #MeToo

Bill Cosby, Brett Kavanaugh and Harvey Weinstein. With prominent men being convicted of and accused of sexual assault and harassment in the news, parents are wondering how to raise boys in the #MeToo era. (Photo: Collage of Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Bill Cosby began a three-to-10-year prison sentence for his 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing multiple allegations of assault and harassment. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of a sexual assault while in high school, is scheduled to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.

That’s just this week.

From a mom: Talk to teens about sex. And consent. And even pleasure. It’s the only way to protect them

The past year has seen the rise of the #MeToo movement and the downfall of prominent men including Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Roy Moore. Additional social media-based campaigns have gained steam in the past few weeks, including #WhyIDidntReport and #BelieveSurvivors and underscore the issues of entitlement, respect, consent and power. They are complicated and hard for most adults to understand. 

#MeToo: First-hand accounts from 8 Hollywood professionals hoping for change

Now parents are asking, how can we raise boys in the #MeToo era?

Jennifer Fink, a mom of four boys, ages 12 to 20, and founder of buildingboys.net, said it’s a question that comes up a lot lately.

“We want to get this right,” she said. “We don’t want our kids to be the next Bill Cosby or whoever comes out next. At the same time, some of this is a process, and kids are learning and growing.”

Social norms say boys need to be tough and that they don’t need to emotional support. Biologically, that’s the opposite of the truth, said Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology at Notre Dame.

The structure of boys’ brains means they “need more nurturing than girls … more hugging and affection,” she said. “And because they develop more…

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