oys don't cry!;" "Boys will be boys;" "Stop acting like a girl!;" Regardless of what gender you are, you've most likely heard – or even said – these phrases at least once in your lifetime. Gender stereotypes are deep-seated beliefs about appropriate behaviors for females and males that are taught to us from birth and continue throughout our lives.
Boys Don't Cry Traditionally, boys have been taught from an early age that it isn't alright to share emotions, feelings or display signs of sadness. Worse, boys are often punished, shamed or chastised for crying. In Psychology Today's article, "Boys Who Cry Might Have It All Figured Out," Christia S. Brown, Ph.D., says this logic is extremely flawed. "If boys don’t cry, then you shouldn’t have to tell your son that boys don’t cry," she says. "I never have to tell my dog that dogs don’t meow. She doesn’t meow, will never meow, and me telling her this tidbit is pretty irrelevant. Repeatedly telling a crying boy that boys don’t cry is ignoring the obvious: that boys do, in fact, cry." And young boys do cry. Just as much as young girls. And boys should be allowed the freedom to feel sadness and express these very basic human emotions without shame or recrimination.
Boys Will Be Boys This skewed logic about boys being shamed for crying leads us to the reasons behind another popular phrase describing boys: "Boys will be boys." If
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boys can't or aren't supposed to cry in our society, then what can they do with those emotions? Emotions do not just disappear – they have to be released in some way. And what is usually the acceptable way for boys to release their emotions? Through anger and aggression, and this can be dangerous for boys – and girls. The phrase, "Boys will be boys," implies that boys are biologically driven to be aggressive, hypersexual, rough and tough – and that they should be excused from the consequences of these types of behaviors simply because they were born a boy. The phrase also implies that there is only one "right" way to be a boy, when in fact, boys are individual human beings, each with their own set of personalities and temperaments. We are selling our boys short when we confine to these Boys should be them society-defined allowed the definitions of masculinity. freedom to
feel sadness and express these very basic human emotions without shame or recrimination.
Stop Acting Like A Girl This phrase is probably one of the most disparaging to girls in regards to what it says about what it actually means to be
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