A recent study sheds new light on why many males have difficulty discussing their problems with others — they tend to not think it is particularly useful.
“For years, popular psychologists have insisted that boys and men would like to talk about their problems but are held back by fears of embarrassment or appearing weak,” said researcher Dr. Amanda J. Rose, associate professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri.
“However, when we asked young people how talking about their problems would make them feel, boys didn’t express angst or distress about discussing problems any more than girls. Instead, boys’ responses suggest that they just don’t see talking about problems to be a particularly useful activity.”
Researchers conducted four different studies that included surveys and observations of nearly 2,000 children and adolescents. They discovered girls had positive expectations for how talking about problems would make them feel, such as expecting to feel cared for, understood and less alone. Surprisingly, boys were no more likely than girls to say that talking about problems would cause them to be embarrassed, or be worried that they would be teased, or feel bad about not taking care of the problems themselves.
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