Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  57 minutes
Date:  2002
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Boys Will Be Men

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Some answers for the hard questions about growing up male in America.

Boys Will Be Men

Boys are in trouble. The spate of school shootings in 1998 and 1999 amplified a warning being sounded by social scientists. After 20 years of concern over the status of girls raised by the women's movement, some experts say it is boys we need to turn our attention to. There are disturbing statistics to back this up. Four boys are diagnosed as emotionally disturbed for every one girl. Six boys are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder for every one girl. Boys kill themselves five times more often than girls. Boys are four times more likely to drop out of high school than girls are. Girls now outnumber boys entering college.

How do boys become men? How do they learn courage, the difference between right and wrong, and the meaning of love? What hurts them, makes them violent, and sometimes kills them? Boys Will Be Men, a documentary film about growing up male in America, seeks answers to these questions.

'A film that is both personal and universal. It is provocative and challenges the viewer to take a close look at contemporary masculinity in the U.S. and what we... must do to stop the destructive behavior that is sweeping across America...Highly Recommended.' MC Journal

'What school administrators and school resource officers can gain from this film is the necessity to take some kind of action to address the violent issues plaguing our nation.' The Book Report Magazine

'This nicely paced and well-documented film examines the cultural underpinnings of boy behavior.' Library Journal

'This video provides valuable information for those seeking innovative alternatives to standard, and standardly destructive, ways our society attempts to prematurely and counter-productively turn boys into men. It demonstrates ways for boys and men to hear and support each other into more authentic expressions of their human and humane selves.' Harry Brod, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, University of Northern Iowa

'Promises to spur follow-up discussion; for parents, educators, and teens.' Booklist

'A valuable resource overall for teachers and youth counselors. Recommended.' Video Librarian

'In light of such a cultural milieu - not to mention media that reinforce aggression and even brutality as a part of male identity - the film posits the question: What is to be done? It asks, 'How can we challenge boys to accept the responsibilities of adulthood without cruelty or a rigid definition of what it takes to be a man?'...Boys Will be Men tackles an issue that too few Americans are willing to discuss.' Susan McWilliams, Pomona College, Anthropology Review Database

'Many boys are suffering. Some are on the verge of a meltdown. Often adults don't notice. The new documentary film, Boys Will Be Men , explores the terrors and triumphs of growing up male in America and suggests ways in which we can help boys on their journey. ' The Post

'A timely video that explores how, through subtle and overt cultural messages, boys in the United States learn to embrace emotional detachment, toughness, and cruelty...a video that will help introduce key issues in masculine identity development and spark lively discussion about the notion that 'boys will be boys'-a great video for courses in gender studies, psychology, women's studies and sociology.' Sharon R. Bird, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Iowa State University

'Boys Will be Men is a breathtaking journey through the world of growing up male. Young people, experts on boys' development, and people working to improve boys' lives talk about the hazards of male upbringing and present changes in our lives that can help boys have a wider range of options in their growing up. Clear presentations of programs that help boys learn to be part of a community, to acknowledge feelings, to be responsible for communicating with others, and to choose models of masculinity enhance this wonderful video. Highly recommended!' Stan Davis, Social Worker, School Counselor, and Bullying Prevention Consultant


Gold Plaque, Chicago International Television Awards
The Chris Award, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
CINE Golden Eagle
PASS Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency


Main credits

Weidlinger, Tom (film producer)
Weidlinger, Tom (film director)
Weidlinger, Tom (screenwriter)
Weidlinger, Tom (cinematographer)
Jones, Steven A. (narrator)

Other credits

Editor, Maureen Gosling; original concept and film interviews, Diana Sperrazza; camera, Tom Weidlinger, Rick Butler.

Distributor credits

Moira Productions

Moira Productions
Tom Weidlinger
Edited by Maureen Gosling

Docuseek2 subjects

Men's Studies
Youth Issues
Social Psychology
American Studies

Distributor subjects

American Studies
At-risk Youth
Conflict Resolution
Gender Studies
Mental Health
Social Psychology


growing up male, school shootings, Columbine, boys, attention deficit disorder, macho,"Boys Will Be Men",Bullfrog Films

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