Sample Essay

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Author Dr. William S. Pollack’s work ‘Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood.’ addresses these and other issues that differentiate the behavior of boys and girls.

Dr. Pollack is an assistant clinical professor of psychology in the department of psychology at the Harvard Medical School. He is also the director of the Centers for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital (Pollack, 1998).

Dr. Pollack strongly believes in the presence of innate biological differences in the psychology of boys and the psychology of girls, at the same time he recognizes the great role the social construction of masculinity and maleness plays in the lives of boys.

Pollack is greatly concerned about the poor performance of boys as compared to girls in the country. He notes that boys lag greatly behind girls in the field of education (Pollack, 1998). He also reveals surprising statistics that show that boys are in general, in a poorer state of health than girls (Pollack, 1998). The statistics on male as compared to female underage crime and violence noted in the book are not likely to surprise many people. Nor is the fact that not only are most of the minors that commit violent crime boys but boys are also a lot more likely than girls to die by their own hands  (Pollack, 1998).

Pollack believes that the boys of our country are deeply troubled emotionally:

“On the surface, many boys may appear tough, confident, and cheerful, but underneath; many of them are sad, lonely, and confused” (Pollack, 1998).

Pollack believes that the social construction of masculinity is the main cause for this emotional disorder in boys. He believes that a major source of emotional disturbance in boys is the socially constructed idea that to be a ‘real man’ one has to suppress expression of emotions, especially such emotions as fear or sadness.

Pollack cites studies that show that male infants are more emotionally expressive than female infants to argue against the prevalent ‘myths of boyhood’ (Pollack, 1998). According to Pollack, the suppression of emotions in young boys creates in them a reserve of negative emotions that are then released in the form of violent acts (Pollack, 1998).

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