High school is often such a microcosm of life. What goes on in teen society?
Boys boast about how many girls the have (or supposedly have) sex with. They more they have (with some exceptions if they’re really jerks) the better reputation they have.
Rare is the high school boy who boasts of his sexual inexperience!
Girls, on the other hand tend to lose their reputation and find themselves looked down on if they have (or are perceived to have) a lot of sex.
Even if they feel physically safe, they don’t feel safe.
And boys often don’t either! Teenage boys often feel tremendous love and tender emotion. I say this remembering myself and my friends, and remembering the boy I raised and all his friends.
But boys can be mocked by their peers and lose some of their reputation if they express too much of that tenderness and not enough about sexual conquest.
We all lose!
I can’t image these kinds of attitudes that we’ve been socialized into lead to healthy inner lives. It’s just so toxic.
I won’t even even get into what can happen when two gay men socialized to repress tenderness try to form a partnership.
Let’s just say that for many of us, it ain’t pretty.