The World of Boys (Night Waves)
Broadcast on BBC Radio 3
Bank Holiday Monday 4 May 2009 21:15-22:00
Matthew Sweet and guests discuss an eclectic array of young male behaviour, from truants to Trekkies. The programme is dedicated to the world of boys – how they learn, how they play and how they look. Are boys really becoming the misfits they are so often reported to be?
Matthew's guests include Sue Palmer, educational campaigner and author of the bestselling book Toxic Childhood, who has now turned her attention to boys. She explains why she believes there's a fundamental and innate difference between boys and girls that should be recognised and nurtured by parents, teachers and society at large – unlike much egalitarian thinking that has tried to downplay gender distinctions in children.
Matthew also looks at two areas of schoolboy preoccupation: the hidden order behind the swashbuckling anarchy of pirates and Star Trek – with Toby Litt reviewing the latest film version that hits the cinemas this week. Professor Peter Leeson argues that far from being just a source of fictional fun for contemporary film and TV, 17th and 18th-century pirates pioneered forward-thinking practices, including constitutional democracy, financial incentives, workers compensation, regulating drink and smoking and racial, religious and sexual tolerance. He uses economics to reveal why pirates flew flags with skulls and crossbones and why they walked the plank.
Tonight's programme also looks at young male beauty and Matthew and his guest GQ editor Robert Johnson ask if it is becoming more important in the contemporary world.
Presenter/Matthew Sweet, Producer/Allegra McIlroy
captured from iPlayer, 128kbps 44Khz, runtime 44:08