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ERIC Number: ED182031
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Why Boys Will Be Boys: A Structural Perspective.
Ullian, Dorothy Z.
The intense striving for power which characterizes much of male behavior occurs inevitably as part of the process of gender acquisition and consequently contributes to a sense of psychological vulnerability in the male personality. Masculine and feminine attributes develop spontaneously from young children's tendencies to compare themselves to adult men and women on anatomic criteria in order to establish their gender. When asked to explain the difference between men and women, children describe women as small, physically powerless, gentle, pretty, with high-pitched voices and soft skin. They view women as present or future mothers, and believe women have an innate ability to nurture children. Adult men are described as larger, more powerful individuals with facial and body hair and deep voices. Girls, through their automatic association with motherhood and other physical attributes of women, early acquire a sexual legitimacy. Boys do not have a comparable basis on which to securely ground their masculine identity. The structural developmental position enunciated here proposes that many of the typically "male" behavior patterns outlined and discussed in the literature are inevitable: they result from the young boy's attempt to acquire and exhibit those aspects of masculinity most salient to him in defining his sexual gender. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A