chapter  2
Family Infl uences
Pages 20

We believe that the roots of masculine depression style are in the man’s family of origin. What a boy learns about himself and about relationships with other people is very often different from what a girl learns, even when both are raised in the same family. We will demonstrate how boys experience unique mother-son relationships and unique father-son relationships, and how they begin to develop the defenses that they will later use in the gender socialization process. These experiences result in unnecessary and unnatural limitations in men’s intimate relationships as adults. Men are as capable of nurturing, loving, joining, compassion, understanding, empathy, connecting, grieving, celebrating, and many other normal human experiences, as women are. Something in the way we raise men results in a much more narrow expression of the full richness of being human and culminates in traditional masculinity and masculine depression. In this chapter we will present a model for understanding the origins of masculine depression, beginning with a view of family development through a gender perspective.