Mark Greene, of Remaking Manhood, has expressed some deep truths in this post via The Goodmen Project, including important research from Niobe Way, a Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University and director of the Ph.D. program in Developmental Psychology.
Way asked teenage boys what their closest friendships meant to them, and realised their answers were a matter of life or death. During adolescence, boys express deeply fulfilling emotional connection and love for each other. Once they reach adulthood, this sense of connection is lost. Resulting in isolation, loneliness, and early death.
Why the sudden disconnection?
The Man Box: masculinity within a narrow set of cultural rules.
Over time, we've lost connection with rituals and village communities that support and encourage emotional connection between males. Emotion is often seen as a feminine trait and rejected by those living within the Man Box. Males are told to "man up" and become emotionally independent, to the extent they begin to experience isolation. Even from within secure relationships and marriage.
Mentoring males to embrace connection, maintain love and depth in their friendships beyond early adolescence, and to thrive outside of the Man Box is not only critical to extending their life expectancy, it forms the foundation of a compassionate society. The balance of feminine and masculine energy we need to move toward within ourselves and collectively.