Manhood and Boyhood

Essay samples


Manhoodand Boyhood

Manhoodversus Boyhood

Theperceived differences between men and boys in the 19thcentury were based on the abstract idea of responsibilities and asense of guiding one’s passion carefully the society. A man wasdefined by the ability to meet the responsibilities that the societydeemed right for the man-figure. It was also based on the ideologythat the behavior of a male determined his manhood. And at the sametime, the opposite of manhood was not womanhood, but boyhood.Therefore, whether a man or a boy, manhood was determined bybehavior, expectations and responsibilities that reflected thepassage from boyhood to manhood.

Todeal with the impulsive passions of boyhood, a man was supposed tobehave like a man when the situation calls for. This is because thepassions of boyhood were compared with the behavior of women, agender that was considered weaker. Therefore, for a man to be treatedwith respect and dignity, he had to behave with no impulsive passionsof boyhood. In addition, a man was supposed to align with socialarrangements meant for men and avoid the boyhood groups, mostly afterthe training that turned a boy into a man.

Inbalancing men`s worldliness and aggression, women played the role ofthe custody of virtues that defined boyhood or manhood. In addition,women were the reference group in terms of the behavior of the malefigure. Since the opposite of manhood is not womanhood, but boyhood,the behavior of males that was regarded as womanhood was referred tobe a boyhood behavior. In addition, women played the role of trainingthe boys to be boys and prepare them for a better training formanhood later in life.