November 12th, 2007

Boys' Psychological Development

The Scenario: My main character (a 25-year-old man) has an adopted son who is just turning thirteen. He is generally a quiet, moody, insecure boy who has been abused and kidnapped during his lifetime. They are squatters in London in the late 1970s.


The Problem:
I am female, and have no brothers, so I've never spent significant amounts of time around thirteen-year-old boys, and am unsure how to write about the various changes that they are going through around the age of thirteen. Obviously, everyone is unique, so not all boys would be going through exactly the same developments. But I know that there are some general things that are known to be going on or beginning to go on around this time in life.

The Searches:
I have searched for various combinations of the words
boy
psychological development
teen
13 year old
male psychological development


The Question:
So basically, I'm asking for one or two things:
1) Personal accounts of the significant psychological developments in boys around the age of 13.
2) Recommendations of good websites that share observations of the pyschological development of boys in their early teens.


THANKS FOR THE GREAT RESPONSES!! :)

Edwardian English euphemism for “prostitute”

Time: April 1908
Place: India, either Simla or Darjeeling, if it matters

Two British army officers – one a captain, one a colonel – are discussing a female character and the colonel asks what she does for a living. She’s a prostitute, but the captain’s not going to use that word.

So my question is: What would he say instead? My placeholder is “lady of the night”; would that be OK? I want something as refined as possible, I’m fairly sure that “fallen woman” would be fine, but for story-related reasons don’t want to use it; if it matters, the captain is Northern Irish. I know this is only a little detail, but it’s bugging me.

I’ve tried Googling “Edwardian” and “Victorian” combined with “euphemism”, “prostitute”, “sex”, “English”, “speech”, and “lady of the night”, and Wikipedia. I’ve also looked through the library for dictionaries of words and slang, those “Classics” editions of books that explain details like this at the end, the tags here, and VictorianLondon.org.

Thanks to everyone in advance.

(Edit: I've got a few great answers to choose from now. Thanks for your help, everyone!)

Edo period customs; also, preserving corpses!

Hi folks! I have this story in my head that's insisting I write it, but I have a few problems, most notably being that this story takes place in mid-to-late Edo period Japan, and I know very little about that time and place.

Highest on my list of priorities is custom and etiquette; I can't seem to find anything that gives me a clear idea of the basic standards of interaction. (It doesn't help that I'm not sure how to search; "edo period customs" and "edo period etiquette" don't seem to turn up anything useful.)

What I specifically need to know is: if a traveling merchant (a medicine seller, specifically,) visits the home of a local lord in a small village, how would he be received? Who would be likely to meet him and present him to the lord? How would he be presented to the lord? How would the lord address and behave toward him, and how would the merchant be expected to conduct himself in return?

If specifics are helpful: the lord in question is fairly young (early-to-mid 20s,) and of a somewhat bohemian nature; he's very eccentric and rumor has it he's going mad. His estate is in a state of decline, and many of his servants have left him. The merchant in question is there under the pretense of selling medicine, but actually came to slay a demon.


Another less pressing but still important question: Would there have been a way during this time and place to preserve a dead body for years and years without it decaying? In other words, to keep it beautiful after death?

Priests/Priestesses of Bast in Ancient Egypt

Googled using: Bast, Bast+worshippers, Bast+priest

My question is what the priesthood of Bast was like, if there was any. I know that Bast had a temple in the city of Per-Bast and cat-worship was common throughout ancient Egypt, but I'm having a hard time finding information the priesthood aside from modern pagan sites. If such a priesthood did exist, was it mostly male, female, or both? Did they serve any other roles in the community aside from caring for the temple and officiating over ceremonies? (I've read that Bast was considered a warrior-protector goddess of Lower Egypt, so the thought of a caste of warrior-priests did cross my mind)

Thanks for your help!

Homosocial behavior among Muslim men?

There was a brief article in Psychology Today about platonic affection between men in Muslim countries that might be perceived as romantic in Anglo-Christian countries (e.g. hand-holding, hugging, exchanging of flowers and poetry), but I don't really think of PT as being a pinnacle of scholarly accuracy, so I would like to find out more about these behaviors if they are indeed common.

I tried searching for

physical affection muslim men
homosocial muslim men


and mostly came up with information about the prohibitions of various interactions between men and women.

Can anyone recommend some good sources about this? I'd be really, really interested if anyone knows of any dealing with 19th-century Iran in particular.

Thanks in advance!