Is it Harder to Grow Up Male or Female in America?

For the longest time, the issue on gender inequality have remained in our culture, despite the successes of women on gaining the right to vote, being able to earn good paying jobs, finish degrees, become politicians and social reformers, the great divide between the sexes is still felt. Being female and growing up in America is still a fortunate situation, the woman of this land have more opportunities and freedom to become what they want to be as compared to other countries where women is still largely treated as a second class citizen.

But what about the males of America? They have been regarded as powerful, authoritative and superior to women, does it necessarily make it easier for them that they are treated as such? The point is growing up male in America is much more difficult if one was female. The social and cultural expectations that our society holds for males puts them at a disadvantage. For example, a child who is born male is expected to be strong, unwieldy, and brave and a little aggressiveness is even smiled upon.

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This makes boys become emotionally intense, have less self-control, does not learn how to compromise and cooperate (Tudiver, 1999). They are trained to achieve whatever that their parents or the boy would want to have. In our culture males are still expected to be the breadwinner, to be the executive and to hold key positions in the company or in office. And being determined, aggressive and a risk taker are the qualities needed to become as such.

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Their sense of self, worth and identity is tied to what they achieve, so all their lives they exert all their energies into becoming an achiever.

They miss out on the joys of genuine friendship, love and contentment because they are too busy coping with the pressures that society subjects them to. Just think of how difficult it is for boys to live up to this expectations, moreover think of what it will do to their interrelationship skills? Boys are taught not to cry and to express grief or sentiments, which is why they grow up to be insensitive, uncaring and close minded, not because it is their nature but because its how society expects them to be.

They become emotionally detached and even research have shown evidence that hypertension and heart diseases are associated with emotional stress (West & Keller, 1995). They are deprived of the emotional attachments and close relationship that females have from the time they learn how to socialize till their hairs become white. Males on the other hand are not so fortunate, even the average life span of males is shorter than those of females, and physically males are more prone to disease, defects and abnormalities than females (Kraemer, 2000).

Males in their lifetime have to contend with biological, social, cultural and emotional difficulties that pressures them into becoming the men of America, they have to live up to this expectations without thinking if their lives could be something other than this for it is how they are socialized to behave. Failure to live up to these expectations is devastating for males, they are immediately branded as not being a man, the analogy is; a man is successful, if one is not successful then one is not a man.

References Adam K. & West, M. (1995). Attachment organisation and vulnerability to loss, separation, and abuse in disturbed adolescents. In: Goldberg S, Muir R, Kerr J, eds. Attachment theory: social, developmental and clinical perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, :327. Kraemer, S. (2000). The fragile male. British Medical Journal, 321;1609-1612 Tudiver F. &Talbot Y. (1999). Why don't men seek help? Family physicians' perspectives on help-seeking behavior in men. Journal of Family Practice; 48: 47-52.

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
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Is it Harder to Grow Up Male or Female in America?. (2017, Apr 14). Retrieved from

Is it Harder to Grow Up Male or Female in America? essay
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