How Does the “Boy Code” Compare with Adolescence?

June 7, 2009
By tom doherty BRONZE, Oak Park, Illinois
tom doherty BRONZE, Oak Park, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Since the early 1980s the “Boy Code” has been recognized as a set of regulations among boys based on they’re physical and physiological view points. The phrase, “Boy Code” has different “rules” depending on different grade levels contradicting through Elementary school and up till High school. In this study, specific grade levels and people were examined to see how adolescence can change how the “Boy Code” is interpreted. The “Boy Code” can change through specific ages of a child’s life, however, this study will show how the “code” can change through three different people in different grades, but going to the same school.
Source 1: "1st Grader's "Boy Code”” Personal interview. 16 Apr. 2009.

This interview generalized how a 1st grader’s perspective on the “Boy Code” was different from a 5th or 8th grader’s perspective. Because the 1st grader was very touchy about this matter, I was unable to get relevant information about what he feels that the “Boy Code” is, but I was able to obtain what the “Boy Code” was to the other boys in his class. In general, the goal of this interview was to see how his perspective would be different from the 8th grader’s perspective; and it was. The significance of this was that the 1st Grader wasn’t afraid of showing emotion, mostly known as crying, he was not afraid to put his sadness into aggression, which is the main argument of the “Boy Code.” Although I was only able to talk with him personally for a few minutes, I also obtained a key facts about a 1st grader’s opinion. He said to me, specifically, that at first (which I assumed as the beginning of the year or the start of kindergarten) he use to cry in school, but then later, he began to only cry at home when he was hurt emotionally at school. He did not state anything about himself that he did physically relating to the “Boy Code.” This interview really gave me a starting point on this question; it gave me data to compare to.
Source 2: "5th Grader's "Boy Code"" Personal interview. 16 Apr. 2009.

While interviewing the 5th grader (not stating name), he seemed nervous answering the questions relating to the main one, it seemed as though he didn’t know which answer to go to, like the “Boy Code” was on his back. For instance, when I asked him, “Have you ever wanted to cry in school but didn’t? He seemed like he wanted to the dodge the question, and did not give me a specific answer. This interview was very useful though, because I felt like the “Boy Code” was putting pressure on him, but he didn’t know if to follow it or not.
Source 3: "8th Grader's "Boy Code"" Personal interview. 16 Apr. 2009.

When the 8th grader was being interviewed, it was a very interesting experience. He talked to me like the “Boy Code” was not influencing him in anyway. But when I asked the question, “How do you feel if you emotionally bring down a male? And the first answer to that question was, “Haha” and then he said “I feel good.” This made me hypothesize that the “Boy Code” was into affect. The answers he gave me were completely different from those of the 1st grader’s.
Source 4: "The "Boy Code" - myths that create life challenges for boys." Colorado State University Extension. 26 Apr. 2009 .

This source gave me some backround information about what exactly the “Boy Code” is, it also showed me how the “code” plays into affect during adolenscence. I found then when reading this journal, it showed what I was looking, or what I was trying to look find. It was a very useful article for general information.
Source 5: "‘Boy-code’ a factor in fatal school shootings? - Washington Blade: Gay and Lesbian News, Entertainment, Politics and Opinion." Washington Blade: The Gay and Lesbian News Source of Record - DC Gay News, National Gay News, Entertainment and Opinion. 26 Apr. 2009 .

Before even doing any of the interviews or research, I heard about this article on yahoo as a memory. It made me become very interested in it and so I decided it to use it as a factor of what could and had happen if the “Boy Code” is used to its full advantage. Although it’s a tragic story, it reminded when interviewing the three kids that this could happen to them because of this problem, it’s a major problem that is affecting more kids then ever. I used this article as a to see how the “Boy Code” is unsafe and unhealthy to others.

Source 6: "Breaking the 'boy code' / New movement advocates adapting schools and society to what works for boys." San Francisco Bay Area News, Sports, Business, Entertainment, Classifieds: SFGate. 26 Apr. 2009 .

I picked this article specifically because I wanted to see how we can change how boys’ are becoming opressed by one another. This article also tells me that the “Boy Code” really only occurs during school, so they have set new standards to get other boys to forget about the “code.” It also helps my research because it tells me that there will be help for those suffering in the future.

In conclusion, the “Boy Code” can be compared with adolescence. In this study, it shows that as a person gets older, the “code” starts to become more severe. In the study, I noticed that the 1st grader had a completely different attitude compared to the 8th grader on the “Boy Code.” My explanation for this is that when a person gets older more pressure and bullying occurs during that persons’ life, causing that person to feel like he is less masculine then the others. The “Boy Code” has extreme affects to it aswell. For instance, when a person is inflicted towards the “Boy Code” he may have emotional problems or breakdowns. In the end, the “Boy Code” changes when a person goes through different stages of maturing. The effects are sometimes permanent because of this “code” occuring during the growing process of the human body.

The author's comments:
This piece was an examination of of how different age groups are affected bye the pressure of different standards.

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