It is no secret that society has a habit of labeling men as being incapable of feeling or connecting as effectively as women. However, according to Dr. Vicki Zakrzewski at the University of California, Berkeley, neurological studies have shown that there is not much difference between the male or female capacity for empathy. This begs the question: what is inhibiting emotional connection in the male experience?
Stanford Professor, Judy Chu, conducted a two-year-long study on boys ages four through six. The study revealed that boys do not begin to become neglectful or inarticulate in their emotional expression until about midway through kindergarten. Chu noticed that this is also the time that boys begin to orient their behavior with the societal norms for masculinity. The short answer to the question presented before is this: it is culture, not genetics, that incapacitates male social and emotional skills. This leads to an increase in loneliness and depression as a result of a lack of emotionally intimate relationships or friendships with the same and opposite sex.
Emotional connection and expression are essential for emotional regulation and emotional intelligence. While this is easier said than done, a way to combat this stigma against the masculine expression of emotion is to have a greater understanding that emotions are part of the HUMAN experience, not exclusive to the female experience. Emotional expression is not a symbol of femininity, but an expression of humanness.
Vicki Zakrzewski, (2014, December 1). Debunking the myths about boys and emotions. Greater Good. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/debu....