Only Sensitive Men Can Save the Planet
By Ted Zeff, Ph.D.My colleague Dr. Ted Zeff is going some exciting work understandingsensitive men and boys. Read this important new article.For more information, please visit his web site,
the amazon link for his latest book, “The Strong, Sensitive Boy” is
For more information on my work, contact Jed Diamond atwww.MenAlive.com
Most boys are taught from an early age to act tough and repress their emotions.According to William Pollock, the author of
whenever boys do not conformto the “boy code” and instead show their gentleness and emotions, they are usuallyostracized and humiliated. Males then deny their real selves in order to be accepted andapproved of by their peers which can create fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem in men.Men are taught that they must be aggressive, tough, strong, and in control. Frequently,when males step out of the “act like a man” box, they are humiliated. In their book,
authors Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson state that if boys expressemotions such as fear, anxiety, or sadness, they are commonly seen as feminine, and theadults and other children in their lives typically treat them as though these emotions areabnormal for a boy. However, when boys act aggressively or are silent, it is accepted asnormal.
Males Learn to Repress All Emotions Except Anger
Given our societal norms, it may come as a surprise that newborn boys are actually moreemotionally reactive than girls. One study showed that baby boys cry more than babygirls when they are frustrated; yet by the age of five, most boys suppress all their feelings except anger. However, even though boys are taught to maintain emotionalcontrol, measuring their heart rate or skin conductance (sweaty palms) in emotionallyarousing situations demonstrates that there is no difference between boys’ and girls’responses. Boys have the same human needs as girls. For example, a kindergartenteacher who welcomes her students each day with hugs has a calming effect on the mostdisruptive boys since all boys have a basic need to be loved, cared for, and respected.