Baboons. Bonobos, and Bar Mitzvah Boys: How New Insights in Evolutionary Biology are Changing What it Means to be Male
What does it mean to be a man? Are aggression and violence inherent to being male? Rooted in primatology, Jewish education, and deeply personal experience, Rabbi Daniel Brenner shares a hopeful look at the fate... of the bar mitzvah boy, and offers an alternative to the self-replicating cycle of toxic masculinity.See lessSee more
The Rest is Commentary
In the late nineteen-eighties, Niobe Way worked as a counselor at an urban public high school, where she spent hours each day listening to teen-agers, especially boys, speak about their struggles with friendship, betrayal, and heartbreak. Boys and men are often seen through stereotypes as emotionally illiterate, stoic, and extremely independent.
Troop of Kenyan baboons experiences temperament shift after all dominant adult males die in accident; Dr Robert M Sapolsky, Stanford University biology and neurology professor, and wife Dr Lisa J Share co-author research report on group known as Forest Troop; report is published in journal PloS Biology; holds that swing toward pacifism and affection between tribe members has carried over to new males entering group; contend that other examples of animal multiculturalism exist, but are more task specific than global code of behavior witnessed within Forest Troop; photos (M)
What happens when two monkeys are paid unequally? Fairness, reciprocity, empathy, cooperation -- caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share.
Chief of Education | Moving Traditions
Rabbi Daniel Brenner is the Chief of Education and program for Moving Traditions, an education non-profit that champions mentorship programs for tweens and teens. In the last twenty years he has played key roles in some of the most creative organizations in the Jewish world, including CLAL-the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and Birthright Israel, and was named one of America’s most influential rabbis by Newsweek Magazine. Rabbi Brenner received rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He is also the founder of a new dance craze, www.klezmeraerobics.com.