What parents need to know about boys and body image

Will Courtenay, PhD Psychotherapist, shares advice for parents on the most important things to know about their son and his body image growing up
Raising Boys | What Parents Need To Know About Boys And Body Image
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What parents need to know about boys and body image

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There is a lot the people don't realize about boys and body image. Most people today realize that the problem of overweight and obesity is considered an epidemic, but most people think it's a problem for women and girls. Very few realize that it's boys and men who are more likely to be overweight or obese. This is just one example of the many ways we often fail to see or choose to ignore, the very real health risks of our sons. Research shows, for example, that parents often fail to see that their sons, but not their daughters, are overweight. Just like our daughters, our sons have body image problems and don't know have realistic perceptions about their bodies. While girls tend to think that they are bigger and heavier than they actually are, boys tend to think that they are skinnier than they actually are. In fact, one to two-thirds of normal weight boys, actually want to gain weight. They often eat high fat diets to do that. Boys who have more stereotypical or more traditional ideas about how a boy or a man is supposed to be, are going to want to be even bigger or bulkier. The problem with this is that boys are more likely to suffer poor self-esteem and depression. Parents really need to get that, it's not just our daughters, but our sons, that have body image problems. Then they need to check their own perceptions about how heavy their son is and if their son is actually more overweight than they realize. It's really important to talk to our sons about the social pressure that they experience to become bigger and bulkier.

Will Courtenay, PhD Psychotherapist, shares advice for parents on the most important things to know about their son and his body image growing up

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Will Courtenay, PhD

Psychotherapist

Dr. Will Courtenay, “The Men’s Doc,” is an internationally recognized expert in helping boys, men and fathers, and a psychotherapist, consultant, distinguished author, researcher, keynote speaker, radio host, and consultant to and speaker at schools and universities. His new book is titled Dying To Be Men. The American Psychological Association calls him, “a leading psychologist in the field of masculinity” and Who’s Who in America calls him a “foremost achiever in his field.” As one of the world’s leading innovators in the health of boys and men, he has a documented history of success in shaping and promoting this new field, as well as new perspectives on fatherhood, boyhood, and masculinity. Dr. Courtenay received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and has served on the clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco, Medical School. He is the Founding Editor of the International Journal of Men's Health. Dr. Courtenay is a powerful, effective voice about boys and men, heard nationally on radio and television – including CNN, Good Morning America, World News, Fox News, ABC News, NBC News – and seen in print – including NY Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, NPR, Newsweek, USA Today, and Chicago Tribune. Dr. Courtenay is a contributor to Esquire Magazine.

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