jump to navigation

Welcome to the Psychology of Men Website March 13, 2009

Posted by occhristiancounseling in Dr. Debi Smith.
add a comment

This website is part of an ongoing project that began with the author’s interest in understanding men as the mother of three sons. As you may know, a number of books about raising sons appeared on the market in the past few years, partially in response to a wide acceptance of feminist psychology and the freedom women have come to enjoy. In gaining their rights (e.g., to be educated, to vote, to work alongside men as equals) within a formerly patriarchal society, women have inadvertently altered men’s social roles as well. Men, too, have been set free from previously rigid roles as husbands and providers, yet they are left without a clearly defined model of masculinity wherein they are also valued and appreciated, a model that parents could follow in raising emotionally healthy sons.

Some books about boys, such as Raising Cain (Kindlon & Thompson, 1999), have been viewed as the counterpart of books about girls, such as Reviving Ophelia (Pipher, 1995). Some authors (Pollack, 1998, 2000) have written popular books to make the findings of empirical research more accessible to parents and educators, whereas others inadvertently promote the perpetuity of cultural stereotypes and rigid views of masculinity (Dobson, 2001; Nicolosi & Nicolosi, 2002), which can leave men feeling isolated and depressed, and mothers wondering what has happened to their sons, as will be noted later.

However, the process of male development need not be so confusing. An understanding of attachment theory can help elucidate the impact of developmental trauma that is normative in a boy’s life through the processes of maternal attachment and separation that are strongly influenced by male biology, male socialization, and the emotional health of his mother. Furthermore, greater understanding of and empathy for a boy’s dilemma can help facilitate his emotional and social development. A greater understanding men is the goal of this project.