Boys Do Cry
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Boys Do Cry
Stereotyping has become so prevalent in our society that people do it even without noticing it. People are being labeled with specific titles or characteristics and are being judged wrongly. Stereotyping is the phenomenon that is commonly followed by people unconsciously, and categorizing people based on their color, gender, language, and culture is the main reason there are certain social and psychological issues arising. Psychology claims that being a human, both males and females undergo certain development, and the same goes for their mental and emotional development. It is important to note that there is a slight difference in the brain development of men and women. According to the neuroscientist's boy's brain tends to be more lateralized, having two hemispheres operate more independently during specific activities and mental tasks but in the case of female they use both their cerebral hemispheres equally (Are There Any Differences In The Development Of Boys' And Girls' Brains?). According to psychologists, sex differences define the brain activity and the differences of response between girl and boy. A line has been drawn by the society between boys and girls and they have to respond as per the social expectations. Generally, it has been stereotyped that boys don't cry and are not only physically but also psychologically strong. Since childhood, girls are being considered timid and fragile, who are allowed to cry publically being the female. At the same, it has been witnessed that boys, since their early years, are trained to suppress their emotions so that they could be portrayed as the strong sex among the two (girls and boys).
According to Geraldine Walsh, one of the biggest dilemmas of society is that boys, from a very young age, are encouraged by the culture and the environment not to show off their emotional and weaker side. Boys are trained psychologically not to cry. Gender difference or bias is the thing that is inculcated in boys since the early years. Gender discrimination needs to blame when boys are unable to cry as it is the surrounding environment or the society that makes them internally weak and forces that not to cry as crying represents the girlish mind frame. Walsh believes that this idea is inculcated in the mind of the boys that if they cry, they would sound womanish. Male gender stereotypes stick a label on the boys that may stifle their emotional development as they would believe that being boy means that they have no right to be emotional. In this society, they are mentally tortured with phrases like "big boys don't cry." There are phrases as well thrown upon them, such as "be a man" that restricts their emotional development and does not allow them to show their actual emotional side to the world where they would be considered weak and emotional if they cry.
Generally, it has been seen that when boys grow up, they start hiding their emotions, and when boys grow into men, they start suppressing their emotions and feelings as compared to the girls who become more expressive with time. According to Fiona Forman, who is an expert in psychology, despite being culturally more acceptable, boys hesitate to share their feelings as they always have a fear of being misunderstood. Boys afraid of crying and showing their emotional side to the world as they have a fear of being perceived as anything other than masculine affects understanding of their emotional state. Considering the numbers of the suicides committed by boys, it is estimated that boys fear to express their emotions. An increase in the rate of depression has been witnessed, which in turn leads him towards suicide. Suicide is becoming more common in boys, and they have dragged to kill themselves under the burden of their emotions that they were afraid to share. According to a survey conducted in Ireland, men are likely to take their lives four times more than women. Girls are trained by society and are allowed to be emotional, making them realize as it is their right to cry and show they're emotional. Girls who cry and become more emotional are considered more sensitive and are sympathized more, and this is the factor that has lessened the suicide rate in girls. It is the surrounding environment that shapes the personalities of the young girls and boys, so; it is the society that needs to be blamed as stereotyping emotions of both the sexes.
Many experts believe that it is the time to break the stereotype that boys who cry are weak and fragile; rather, there is a need to make this concept that boy, if don't cry, is the discriminatory attitude of the society that deprives them of the emotional development. According to Michael J. Smith, there is a need to change the perception of the world (Smith, pp. 263-24). It is the time when people should be realized that crying is the emotional character, and it is the right of every individual to be emotional. Big boys do cry as they are human who feels things if something hurts them. According to the research done by Michael J. Smith, male depression has become the latest topic that needed to be considered to save boys from mental torture. According to Branney and White, they encourage the researchers and the experts to look at the new form of depression that remained absent from the international diagnostic criteria. In this research, it has been claimed that there is a fair chance of sprouted of male depressive syndrome from the way cultural and social forces shape a boy's response towards the distress. It has been claimed that boys avoid crying because when they grow, they are socialized into emotionally articulate young men, which burdens them with a psychological responsibility that they are not allowed to express their depression and emotion no matter how much they are going to suffer.
According to Peter Branney and Alan White, a small number of men are diagnosed and treated for depression. A society survey shows that men are in greater number than the women who fall a prey both alcohol and suicide. In this article, it is believed that the sex differences approach has the strength and potential to provide a diagnostic tool for knowing about the emotional development and depression with which men suffer (Branney & White, pp. 256-262). There is a need to redesign the health services by considering the gender role theory as it helps in targeting the individual show went through the masculine problem. For dealing with the depression and high rate of suicide in men, it is effective to highlight the ways how gender enacts through depression. When a sample was collected, it was observed that sex differences in several symptoms are less marked in the case of boys with having global severity and similar functional impairment. Women are likely to have a long history of depression treatment, and it seems normal if a girl cries or seeks the help of medical experts for coping with the issue of depression. On the other hand, boys are stigmatized with the label of not crying, and when they are deprived of the right to express their emotions, they become a victim of then depression, and symptoms start appearing in them. Abusive behavior and violence are because of depression when they become violent and emotionally unstable when they are fear of crying. People need to be educated, and this stereotypical attitude, based on the gender difference, needs to be demolished so that boys could be accepted equally in society as girls when they cry.
According to Lisa Townsend, in adolescence, boys as compared to girls observed to be fighting with depression, but in this article, it is asserted that girls are affected more with depression as compared to boys, but there are some other factors which must be highlighted at the same time as well (Townsend, pp. 472-477). No much of the depression cases are reported regarding boys as they directly commit suicide, or they are less interested in reporting such things and making these kinds of matter public. Boys live with the burden of the expectations, and in almost all the societies, they are inculcated with the thoughts that being males that are not allowed to cry. As per the Adolescent Awareness Program (ADAP), young school-going boys have the symptoms of depression along with certain stigmas. According to this program, one thing that has been disclosed is that it is the gender difference that restricts boy to portray them as emotionless men so that they could show off their masculinity. It won't be wrong to say that the connotation of masculinity is being misinterpreted by society.
Though, it is true that a slight change in the brain frame of boys and girls takes place due to which a difference could be seen in their behavior and response to a situation. Boys are psychologically trained in such a way that they believe crying would question their masculinity. They are discouraged by society against crying and showing any of their emotional sides. Crying is one of the main way of releasing symptoms of depression, but as when boys are trained not to express their emotions, and they are deprived of one of their rights as being humans boys also have some emotions, but they are being made realized that being male means they have no right to express what they actually go through rather they have to stand against all the hardship and are not allowed to show their pain and suffering by controlling their tears. It is important to break this gender difference as at present feminist movements are rising their voice so that oppression against women could be spotted and stopped so, in case of crying, this stigmatization of the gender should be a break. It is the heartbreaking reality that even in emotions, a line between the two sex (male and female) has been drawn. Some certain ideas and connotations are being attached to both males and females. It is a sad reality to see emotional support for girls only if they go through any emotional trauma. On the other hand, no such support could be seen for boys when they pass through the same trauma.
Many experts from the psychology field believe that it is the gender difference that generates cognitive reappraisals for threatening situations. Reappraisal capacity shield the men but not the women. According to Corinna M. Berchtold and colleagues, despite being one of the appealing areas of research “gender differences in emotion regulation” still it is not clear whether is there any difference in the basic capacity of men and women for implementing specific emotion regulatory ways and strategies. Emotion regulation opposed to the idea of habitual use of the strategies used in self-reports. (Perchtold, pp.553). It has been witnessed that by knowing little about such basic capacities, it becomes easy to relate with the well-being of both sexes. This study shows that it is vulnerable to the development of affective disorders, even if both boys and girls are in the realm of emotion. A female's proneness to the depressive signs and symptoms is the reason for the high reactivity against the negative stimuli. Different emotion regulatory strategies are there, and it is the cognitive reappraisal that aims at changing the influence of the emotional impact. As per the pieces of evidence from other studies, it has been witnessed that cognitive reappraisal helps in coping with several adverse events.
Boys are trained in a way that they believe that the real men don't cry and due to which young boy start hiding their pain and emotional trauma so that they would not be considered weak. It is the culture and the society that misguides boys that they would be considered male if they would show that they are strong-hearted. Girls who cry and ask for emotional support are considered womanish in society, and society treats them as it is a norm to provide only girls with emotional support if they cry. Unfortunately, society and people's attitude is the main reason that believes it is quite normal to support girls if they cry as it is their right only to have emotional support. This bias behavior of society in the provision of emotional support drags boys towards trauma and the additional burden of hiding their emotion and boys are made realized that it is against their reputation to cry as it is the feminine act to depict emotions and cry.
So, take a look at the above discussion and perception provided by different researchers, it could be asserted that gender difference is the leading factor that supports depression in boys as they are psychologically trained how to behave and hide their emotions. If they show their emotional side or cry, it would stigmatize their manhood. Boys are not expected to cry, but there is need to reform this ideology that real man does not cry as it would be better to say that only a real can cry as it needs a lot of strength to go against the conventional ideas that are discriminating the boy and girl based on gender. Boy’s fear of crying as they do not want society to associate their manliness with that of womanish, so for saving their reputation of a man, they have to hide their emotions and rejects the reality that boy could cry. It could be promulgated that strong boys are those who have the courage to show their emotions and could break the conventional stereotyping of society. Gender difference is the driving force that restricts the boy from crying and showing their emotions.
Branney, Peter, and Alan White. "Big boys don't cry: Depression and men." Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 14.4 (2008): 256-262.
Perchtold, Corinna M., et al. "Gender differences in generating cognitive reappraisals for threatening situations: Reappraisal capacity shields against depressive symptoms in men, but not women." Frontiers in Psychology 10 (2019): 553.
Smith, Michael J. "Big boys do cry: Invited commentary on… Big boys don't cry." Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 14.4 (2008): 263-264.
THREE, ZERO. "Are There Any Differences In The Development Of Boys' And Girls' Brains?." ZERO TO THREE. N. p., 2019. Web. 11 Dec. 2019.
Townsend, Lisa, et al. "Gender differences in depression literacy and stigma after a randomized controlled evaluation of a universal depression education program." Journal of Adolescent Health 64.4 (2019): 472-477.
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