Stop excusing the phrase, “Boys will be boys”

Daniela Perez/ Staff Writer

Any woman can empathize with the constant defense mechanisms used by adults to describe boys and men.  Regardless of sexuality, the defending of men begins at a young age where girls may meet petulant male children.

Upon voicing their concerns to an adult, the response, “He’s only mean because he likes you,” is unfortunately the most common reply. As they grow, this gives boys the idea that they can get away with anything they want.

In an interview with Babble, psychologist and life coach Dr. Lisa Kaplin spoke of the importance of teaching our children what love doesn’t look like.

“Depending on the child’s age we can add some explanation of why some kids might punch, hit, etc. We would explain that that is about control, not liking or caring for someone,” Kaplin said.

If that’s not what love looks like, where does this ideology even stem from? The idea that a boy may like someone if he’s violent and the connotation behind “boys will be boys” creates a societal malignant tumor.

Psychologist Elizabeth J. Meyer from Psychology Today describes the dangers behind the inclusion of terms like “boys will be boys” as a prompt to construct gender stereotypes, leading towards the formation of unconscious biases, which in the end, “limits the full expression of children; confining them to socially constructed pink and blue scripts.”

Unfortunately, these terms eventually follow men and women well into adulthood.

Just look at the recent case of Brock Turner, a rapist who also happened to be an athlete at Stanford University. Turner’s “media popularity” stemmed from the light sentence he received; a trifling 6 months in jail as a punishment for “ruining a life” as told by Selena Strandberg from the Observer.

The judge that sentenced Turner, Aaron Persky,  simply felt that anything more would have been “harsh” considering Turner’s honored life as an athlete at Stanford. According to Persky, Turner was just trying to “have fun” and took it “too far” with his intoxication. He didn’t say “boys will be boys,” but he may as well have done so.

The Stanford case is not the first nor the last to exhibit this apathy towards rape. Many universities such as Harvard and the University of Connecticut have been called out on their aloofness towards the women who have come out to confess their abuse.

This has normalized rape culture, making rape the most underreported crime. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center “estimates that 63 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to police.”

Boys can only be boys for so long, and hostility towards another doesn’t equal love or affection. The normalization of these attitudes must be put to a halt alongside the inclusion of these terms in modern day vocabulary.

And always keep in mind that abuse towards women is intolerable by all means; not because you have a sister, a mother, or a daughter, but because she’s a human being.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo taken from Flickr.

Be the first to comment on "Stop excusing the phrase, “Boys will be boys”"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.