| Psychology Today
Empirical studies of boys offer evidence that their capacity and desire forclose, meaningful relationships persist beyond infancy, through childhood, and into adolescence. In her studies of adolescent boys’ friendships, psychologist Niobe Way acknowledges the obstacles that boys commonly encounter in their efforts to develop close friendships, including issues of trust and cultural stereotypes that denigrate emotional intimacy as feminine. However, Way also underscores the intense emotional intimacy in boys’ close friendships, especially during early and middle adolescence, and emphasizes how boys value and fight to maintain (but often end up losing) their emotional connections to others. Likewise, my studies of boys at early childhood and adolescence reveal their relational capabilities — including their ability to be self-aware, sensitive to others, and remarkably articulate and authentic in their self-expression — and their resistance against disconnections as they seek to relate to others in meaningful ways.