Growing up Male: The Psychology of Masculinity

Growing up Male: The Psychology of Masculinity

Growing up Male: The Psychology of Masculinity

Growing up Male: The Psychology of Masculinity

Synopsis

This text, by a director of university counselling, examines the interplay of forces shaping the development of masculinity. It is particularly important during a period when the status of men has undergone considerable erosion in society. Counsellors, psychotherapists, mental health professionals, and all those working with teenage males will find this study of sex and gender issues, male bonding, psychosexual adjustment, situational ethics, and sexuality illuminating.

Excerpt

In Chapter 1, on the very first page of text, I make the point that "not many years ago a book dealing with the male persona would have been considered inane, somewhat beside the point." Men had no persona, they played no role: they were men, and that was the long and the short of it. That was the traditional, the patriarchal, and of course the biblical perspective. Men were good at problem-solving, at decision-making. It taxes the imagination to believe that anyone could believe that men were free from problems, but the first precept of conventional wisdom held that men had to keep certain things to themselves. This was the expectation; indeed, it was the manly thing to do.

But times have changed, and society has grown more complex. In the process, the perception of who man is and what he stands for has changed as well. And although it is unlikely that the average man was ever as stoic as Western society wanted him to be, the stature and presence that simpler times conferred on this "traditional man" enabled him to serve as an authentic role model for young men of his acquaintance. Strong role models have not disappeared off the face of the earth, but for many youths they may be a lot harder to find.

We are in the midst of a difficult-to-categorize revolution. It is a social revolution, but it is also highly political. For the most part it has been a sexual revolution, fought more or less along the lines of gender. Someone was asked to define "ignorance and apathy"; the reply, "I don't know and I don't care," is likely the same answer most men would give to the . . .

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