“Has Anyone Seen the Boy?”

The Fate of the Boy in Becoming a Man

in Boyhood Studies
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The topic of this article is the psychological meaning and consequences of the repression of a male’s experience of being a boy in the course of his socialization to manhood. Although the eradication of the sense of being a boy is a requirement for attaining manhood in nearly all cultures, the boy remains psychologically alive, although hidden, in the older male. The features of boyhood, why boys often frighten us, and why boys nonetheless enchant both males and females are discussed. An explanation of our ambivalence about boys is found in their anatomy, kinetic physicality, distinctive early experiences with their father, and residual characteristics of the boy’s early relationship with his mother and the feminine. The article concludes with some observations about what a genuine harmonization in a male of the boy with the man might mean for a man’s relations with his father, his sons, other males, and females.

Boyhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal