MEN AND MASCULINITY
Despite advances in gender equality, most boys still feel considerable pressure in our culture to be aggressive, stoic, competitive, and independent. And how they negotiate these pressures will have an impact on the man they become.
Men will often respond to these biological and cultural constraints by feeling lonely, depressed, or by acting out and looking for ways to "prove" themselves. This can become a self-destructive cycle that involves risk taking, volatile anger, substance abuse, compulsive sexuality, over-involvement with work, or problems with intimate relationships. Sometimes men make a bad situation worse with these behaviors.
I believe men can be masculine and sensitive, capable and vulnerable, decisive and nurturing, and that these qualities are not mutually exclusive. While many guys are unclear how to integrate these divergent feelings, I have seen that it is well worth the effort. Men become more self-confident and aware of their strengths, and they also see where change is necessary. They are better able to handle the challenges that life puts before each of us and, most importantly, they become happier with who they are in the world.
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