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August 11, 2012

Searching for Masculinity

When working with trans guys, one of the most common things I hear is a complete underestimation of the power of testosterone. I find these comments fascinating because trans guys are the only population who have had an experience of adult life both without the hormone and with it.

Then this morning I read How our Society is Failing Young Boys. The author makes a case that female influences without corresponding male influences is harming the development of boys into men. Further our popular culture continues to put most masculine behavior into categories of buffoonery, excessive violence and inability to make commitment.

Many other cultures have understood the importance of shaping and harnessing male energy. We have lost the focus on this important activity; consequently, we have unfettered aggression and lack of responsibility. It’s time to help boys understand and work with male energy. When harnessed this energy has great potential when uncontrolled, it has great potential to harm.

I just spent a day with my cousin’s boys – aged 9 and 10. Boy, lots of questions and even more energy! They were a blast to be with. I loved their natural curiosity and seemingly endless energy.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that is now fearful and suspicious of any interaction between boys and adult men. I’m amazed that bad behavior by a few results in the loss of mentoring and guidance opportunities. We seem to assume that everyone will behave just as outlayers behave.

Sure, we’ve advanced technologically much over the centuries, but our base behaviors haven’t changed at all over this time. We’re still frightened and fearful of anything we don’t understand.

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