Separation Anxiety and the Dread of Abandonment in Adult Males


This work presents a new theory of personality development for males, one that emphasizes gender differences in biological maturation and in socialization practices that pressure boys to become emotionally independent too soon. Stevens and Gardner believe that in extreme cases males grow up harboring a primitive, unconscious dread of being abandoned that prevents them from handling separation experiences successfully. As women become more assertive in relationships, there are more female-terminated relationships, especially divorces. As psychologists, Stevens and Gardner noticed that rejected husbands were often more at risk than their estranged wives because most men are victims of the traditional socialization techniques that deny them easy access to emotional expression and support groups. Drawing from a range of disciplines, including sociology, primatology, anthropology, and psychology, the authors draw portraits of common male personality types, many of which are ill-equipped for self-fulfilling independent adult life.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1994


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