Throughout his campaign, Donald J. Trump has displayed a particular type of hyper masculinity — the man who is proud not to apologize and to have never changed a diaper; who views “loser” as the ultimate insult; who bonds with other men by objectifying women.
It’s especially striking because today’s schools and workplaces try to value something different: empathy, impulse control and collaboration. For three decades, jobs that require these social skills have grown much more than others, researchers have found. They say one reason that boys are more likely than girls to get in trouble in school and are less likely to graduate is that a narrow definition of masculinity can stunt their ability to develop these skills.
If there is a silver lining to Mr. Trump’s views on manliness, it’s that it has prompted a national discussion about the “boys will be boys” excuse for things like bullying, boasting or appraising women in crassly sexual terms. That has offered an opportunity for parents and teachers to make clear what behavior is unacceptable. Michelle Obama, in an emotional speech on Thursday, asked what message Mr. Trump’s words and behavior sent not just to girls, but also to men and boys.