8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The End of Homophobia?,
This review is from: The Declining Significance of Homophobia: How Teenage Boys are Redefining Masculinity and Heterosexuality (Sexuality, Identity, and Society) (Hardcover)
I can't really give a hands-off 'objective' review of this book because I happen to know the author. In fact, I was one of the subjects of his research! (Turn to page 77, there's a picture of me). All I can say is this, Dr. McCormack's study captures the experiences of young men, both gay and straight, better than anything else I have read. His insightful sociological perspective sheds new light on the experiences of youth today. His style is engaging and informative, making the complex social world he documents easy to understand. For anyone interested in contemporary issues related to masculinity and sexuality, I would highly recommend this book.
For me, being gay (even in a Catholic college) presented no difficulties whatsoever. If anything, being gay made me more popular, not less. In fact, as you will find out if you read the book, I was popular enough to be elected student president at my college! This challenges what traditional research has said about the experiences of gay youth. This book also challenges what many masculinities scholars have said about young heterosexual men. Dr. McCormack finds that straight boys today are more affectionate, tactile with one another, and socially progressive on issues of gay rights and women's rights. He explains why these changes have occurred, and what they mean for the young people involved.
After the book was published, I had the opportunity to read what Dr. McCormack had written about me and my peers. In my view, he has captured the inclusive, welcoming, and gay-friendly environment I grew up in perfectly. To find out that students in other schools had had exactly the same positive experiences, if not better ones, gave me real optimism for the future.
The Declining Significance of Homophobia will be an enlightening read for those who grew up in a different generation. For those of us growing up now, these findings will come as little surprise. For us, the end of homophobia can be clearly seen on the horizon.