There are certain gender expectations that boys are subjected to as they are growing up. They are expected to follow a script that is based on traditional ideas of masculinity. This is summed up in the popular phrase ‘man up’.
Some Of These Expectations Include:
- Emotionless: Expression of emotions are considered to be a feminine trait.
- Tough: Expected to be violently rough and confrontational.
- Heterosexual: Anything that suggest homosexuality, is not masculine.
- Confident: Boys are expected to always be confident.
- Playboy: An expectation that men should multiple sexual encounters with minimal emotional attachment
Research indicates that this rigid view of masculinity comes with its own set of problems. These problems are:
Dating and Intimacy: The suppression of emotions can lead to problems with dating and how men related to the opposite sex. A lot of emotions that are associated with feminine or homosexual traits are suppressed at all costs.
Interpersonal Violence: Boys are encouraged to display confidence, and aggression. Growing up these boys are expected to fight and not run away from confrontation. This is one way boys are expected to deal with bullies. Unfortunately, this can lead to violence even as adults. Spousal assault is one of the implications of encouraging aggression at a young age.
Depression: Boys are taught to suppress emotions. They may therefore not be equipped to deal with certain emotional challenges as adults. Boys are sometimes expected to deal with their emotional issues.
Substance Abuse: The emotional challenges that come with this rigid masculinity philosophy can lead boys to substance abuse in the future
Homosexuality and masculinity: Homosexual young men who are coming to terms with their sexual orientation may feel confused if they were raised in an environment that promoted this extreme view of masculinity. These young men struggle as they try to negotiate masculinity with their sexual orientation.