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Only Sensitive Men Can Save the Planet

Only Sensitive Men Can Save the Planet

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Published by Jed Diamond
Most boys are taught from an early age to act tough and repress their emotions. According to William Pollock, the author of Real Boys, whenever boys do not conform to the “boy code” and instead show their gentleness and emotions, they are usually ostracized and humiliated. Males then deny their real selves in order to be accepted and approved of by their peers which can create fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem in men.

Most boys are taught from an early age to act tough and repress their emotions. According to William Pollock, the author of Real Boys, whenever boys do not conform to the “boy code” and instead show their gentleness and emotions, they are usually ostracized and humiliated. Males then deny their real selves in order to be accepted and approved of by their peers which can create fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem in men.

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Published by: Jed Diamond on Apr 06, 2011
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07/05/2013

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Only Sensitive Men Can Save the Planet
By Ted Zeff, Ph.D.
 
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 
Real Boys,
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,
Raising Cain,
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.
 
Violent male behavior may stem from the perpetrator’s fear that they aren’t behavingaggressively enough and may be thought of as feminine. However, the behavior that isassociated with females (actions that demonstrate empathy, sensitivity, compassion, andso on) are also natural male traits—they are simply not recognized as such in manysocieties. Anthropologists have demonstrated that in certain cultures violent malebehavior is nonexistent, such as in the Semoi of Malaysia. Likewise, the HutteriteBrethen, the largest and most successful Christian communal group in the United States,has enjoyed more than 350 years without a murder. We may infer then that violence isn’tnatural for males but is a learned behavior.
What Is Masculinity?
Many males become uncomfortable in discussions of male sensitivity, since this trait hasbeen interpreted as feminine. In the common duality that strictly separates what ismasculine and what is feminine in our culture, being compared too closely with thefeminine will likely threaten a man’s constructed sense of manhood.Many males who are destroying their lives to feel “manly” are not acting like real men;rather, they are performing a distortion of a cultural stereotype. By disowning their sensitive side, many males become half a person. The aggressive, nonemotional maleneeds to learn to emulate the behavior of the compassionate, emotionally sensitive maleto become a fully functioning human being—acknowledging and honoring each of their human qualities instead of segregating most and aggrandizing a few.One of the most distressing aspects of being put into an “act like a man” box is thatmales should never cry or express fear. The devastating effect of repressing emotions isdemonstrated in the high male depression and suicide rates. For example, Susan Nolen-Hoeksema at Stanford University found that boys were significantly more depressedthan girls. Even sensitive males avoid crying. While the research of Dr. Elaine Aron,author of 
The Highly Sensitive Person,
shows that men and women are equally dividedin having the trait of sensitivity, the only area where sensitive women scoredsignificantly higher than sensitive men was in the statement, “I cry easily.Males are also taught that it is a sign of weakness to ask for help. This follows logicallyfrom the pressure to suppress negative emotions besides anger; after all, if you are notsupposed to have distressing emotions, why would you need help for them? The result ismany men who suffer in silence, which can have horrific effects for a man in hisrelationships, career, and health. I recently read the following quote at my local VeteransAdministration hospital: “It takes the courage and strength of a warrior to ask for help. If you are in emotional crisis, contact the V.A. hospital.” A real man needs to use his inner strength to shed years of media, familial, and societal brainwashing in order to be able toexpress his emotions and vulnerability.

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Jed Diamond added this note
Scribd, I'm glad you liked the article. Thanks for recommending it to others. Sensitive men are vastly under-rated.
Scribd added this note
A lot of boys are taught to act tough. But take a look at why "Only Sensitive Men Can Save the Planet."
Scribd added this note
A lot of boys are taught to act tough. But take a look at why "Only Sensitive Men Can Save the Planet."
Dipendra Kumar added this note
oh good man should be sensitive so planet will sensitive to keep men alive........
Jed Diamond added this note
Thanks for the recent comments from Helen and Scribd. Clearly we are all needed if we want to save the planet for human beings and other worthy species. We're part of nature. We just need to remember our true place in the cosmos.

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