In many ways, the idea of clear gender difference oppresses boys more than girls. Girls have some gender leeway--to be "tomboys," for example. But for a boy to be seen as behaving "like a girl," in dress or in manner, is the worst thing that can be said about him. A teen-age guy is not going to go out on a limb, trying to embody some new, sensitive kind of man. He's going to go for the images that suggest power and strength and accomplishment and toughness.
So boys bring a tremendous amount of baggage to their developing sexuality. It's a proving ground for their identity in a way that it is not for girls. Women may have intense anxieties about their bodies, about whether they will be loved. But men's anxieties center around whether they will show themselves to be what they are supposed to be--a real man--or whether they will disgrace themselves. And it's all made more difficult by the fact that the masculine ideal requires them to be tough and silent and strong about their doubts and fears.
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