As everyone knows, within the human race there are males and there are females. We all figure out what our gender identity is at a young age. For boys, male toys like building blocks and trucks and sports like baseball and soccer help a boy form into what society considers to be a man. Society believes that boys should grow up to be strong, dependant and bread winning in order to be a real man. These social standards that are expected from boys, can also be explained by social roles. We are cast into social roles at the moment we are born. These social roles construct boys to be a certain way and follow the set boy code. Boys are taught to stay clear from emotional openness, vulnerability, and dependance. We are also taught to not let others know when we feel scared , depressed or when we are happy and in love. The most important rule altogether for boys, is to stay away from anything that people think of as being feminine. Society has made it clear that in order to be a real man, you must be a leader, successful, in control, confident, decisive, independent, serious, and self-reliant.
Naturally, families have a large influence on boys development, considering they are the people who the boy spends the most time with and also they are the ones who raise and shape him into who he becomes. The two main influences on the boys development are obviously the mother and the father. In a boys life it is commonly seen for the boy to be much closer to his mother. A mother is usually the one who boys can express their feelings more openly, opposed to the father who is more of just a male role model for the boy. The mother and sons relationship can serve as a drastic formation of the boys personality. If a boy is very close to his mother, then he will more likely be in touch with emotions and feelings. Mothers can help a boy express his feelings more, because he feels safer and more comfortable with his mother. When a boy is with his father he is going to act out the boy code more, in order to make his father happy because in is only natural to act the way the boys largest role model (his father) does. A boy would never go crying to his father with his problems because his father, because he wouldnt want his father to think he was a sissy. A father seems to be more interested in making the boy to be as masculine as possible, and punishing him for any feminine acts. Also most fathers are rasing there sons the same way that they were brought up. If the father in the family was brought up in a strict household, where his father ruled and made sure his son was tough and manly, then that he will grow up and do the same to his sons.
When boys are growing up they are surrounded by mixed messages. They are taught by society, that in order to be a real man, you mustnt show your emotions, feelings, and you cant cry or do anything that a girl would do. However at the same time, in todays politically correct world, people are getting the message across that men should show their feminine side and be aloud to express their emotions. These mixed messages in society, throw an average boy into a world of confusion. Boys dont know how to behave in their everyday lives. This confusion causes many boys to have very low self-esteems and a large buildup of emotions. The boys dont express their true emotions over time and they build up, until the boys self-esteem is crushed.
Another addition to the lowing of boys self-esteem, once again falls back on society. Society puts a lot of emphasis on how most boys are trouble makers in school and are the toughest to keep under control. In school, boys are looked at simply as interferences to the girls in the class, and keep them from learning. Since this is the way that teachers look at the boys in their class, it definitely places a large impact on how the boys act. The boys feel as if they have to fulfil the stereotypes that these adults have of them. This is the other reason why boys feel as if they have to live up to and fulfil the typical boy code society places on them.
Pollack, William. Real Boys First Owl Books, New York, NY. 1999