CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

This article aims at analyzing the processes through which boys learn how to love and more specifically how to keep their distances with matters of the heart. From an early age on, boys internalize the idea that love is mostly a female domain, and that it would be dangerous for them to show an interest in feelings, especially when adopting feminine attitudes towards them. This initiation to the gender order not only occurs through peer relationships and the material culture of childhood, but also through their ordinary interactions with the different adults who take care of them. However, not all boys perceive love as a potential threat or danger to their masculine identities. Some take as much interest as girls in matters of the heart because their family education is less gendered, in its content and its administration. If feelings of love obey the gender order, they also seem to follow social class variations.


  • male socialization
  • childhood
  • feelings of love
  • gender
  • social classes
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