The horror of my boyhood
was that I knew a time would come when I also must give up the games, and how it was to be done I saw not (this agony still returns to me in dreams, when I catch myself playing marbles, and look on with cold displeasure); I felt that I must continue playing in secret, and I took this shadow to her, when she told me her own experience, which convinced us both that we were very like each other inside.
His instinct for story-telling in verse and prose had showed itself from his boyhood
, but his first significant appearance in print was in 1886, with a volume of poems later included among the 'Departmental Ditties.' 'Plain Tales from the Hills' in prose, and other works, followed in rapid succession and won him enthusiastic recognition.
During previous decades, boys' bodies have been described in terms of a wide range of approaches, including the cross-culturalism of "rituals of manhood" (e.g., Herdt, 1981), the related notion of "local boyhoods" (e.g., Gunn, 2004), the self-conscious antistructuralism of "queer boyhoods" as a contribution to "gay boyhoods" (Morrison, 2002) or "boy-on-boy sexualities" (Savin-Williams, 2004), postcolonial boyhood (consider Goldman, 2003), and cultural representations of boyhood sexualities (e.g., Dennis, forthcoming).
In the West, a long heritage of notions of healthy boyhood sexuality has come to inform its embodiment by boys.
Keywords: boyhood sexuality, indigenous customs, ethnohistorical or cartographic perspective, biomedical perspective, healthy sexuality, puberty, virginity
I'll begin by offering some comments on the notion of boyhood sexuality and the health paradigm in terms of which this abstraction is routinely approached in the West.
As a way of clarifying the health paradigm, I'll first explore how boyhood sexuality as such has become an object of study.
All of these projects have situated boyhood sexuality in terms of elaborate psychomedical or psychohygienic programs.
Conceptions of boyhood sexual health associated with these areas of inquiry are related: however, one does not find a simple dichotomy between the efforts of the interventionalists, who opt for education, protection, and correction of healthy boy bodies, and the deconstructionists, who opt for healthy irony, dissent, and anti-interventionalism.
This marginalization of socialized bodies may be analyzed in connection with what Michel Foucault (1976) identified as the disciplinary society in which sovereignty over social bodies, their acts, and their transactions is replaced by what Foucault referred to as "technologies" of the normal subject (in this case, the boy), by means of which the boy polices his social performance of the abstraction "boyhood." A remarkable feature of the disciplined society is its elaborate investment in the regimentation of its members.
While applications of Foucault's genealogical method to the study of boys' bodies and boyhood sexualities have so far been sparse, non-Western case studies of boyhood have been even rarer.