Skip to main content

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys


Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

"What boys need,
first and foremost, is to be seen through a different lens than
tradition prescribes. Individually, and as a culture, we must
discard the distorted view of boys that ignores or denies their
capacity for feeling, the view that colors even boys' perceptions
of themselves as above or outside a life of emotions."

RAISING CAIN was written in response to two primary questions:
"What do boys need to become emotionally whole men? What is the
cost to boys of a culture that suppresses their emotional life in
service to rigid ideals of manhood?"

Accepting the biological differences between boys and girls when
considering their development (although those differences are an
uncertainty), the authors believe the differences are amplified by
a culture that holds boys to stereotypical ideals. One that
provides "emotional literacy" for girls, but not for boys;
discounts their intuitive emotions; and creates a counterproductive
environment. Through the sharing of poignant anecdotes and
recounting of their own experiences with boys, Kindlon and Thompson
offer the chance to understand and empathize with boys'

RAISING CAIN presents an exceptionally clear picture of boys from
early childhood through adolescence --- from developmental changes
and corresponding relationships to the consequences of popular
culture and painful incidents of cruelty. The concluding chapter is
important enough to be read more than once, and taken to heart, by
parents, teachers, mentors, or anyone who spends time with a young
boy. There the authors outline seven steps to "transform the way
you nurture and protect the emotional life of the boy in your
life." They are respectful, insightful, and fundamentally

--- Annamarie Knapp

Reviewed by on January 23, 2011

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
by Dan KindlonPh.D.

  • Publication Date: April 4, 2000
  • Genres: Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345434854
  • ISBN-13: 9780345434852