1. Shouldn’t We Give Grace?
Even in the Church, among Christian where we’re seeing these same types of things happening, the excuse has been, “Sinners are going to sin. Forgive them! Give them grace!” This is no different from the boys will be boys excuse for lack of self-control and disrespect that all humans deserve.
And yes, we should give grace while seeking repentance and holding people accountable for their actions. We just can’t keep brushing things under a rug hoping it won’t be repeated; that abusers will stop seeking power and control over others.
As the Bible says, a man who is allowed to get away with his crime will think of other ways to do wrong. He believes he’s safe to continue to sin without consequences.
“There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt. When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.” – Ecclesiastes 8:9,11 NIV
2. Aren’t We Expecting Too Much from Males?
Maybe we’re just not sure how to stop aggressive behavior or angry outbursts once they start. Maybe we’re not teaching boys that it’s okay to feel all the other feelings besides anger. We even may be untrained in conflict resolution ourselves so we just allow things to play out in unhealthy ways. Whatever the reason we need to find solutions to this problem.
There is a real danger in assuming all boys are created the same and only capable of anger and aggression. When we lower standards we say that boys aren’t capable of other things – like kindness, empathy, compassion, or communication. It might be surprising to learn but testosterone doesn’t limit boys from their full potential as humans just as estrogen doesn’t make women kinder or gentler. Instead, we need to be teaching healthier ways for all humans to handle their anger and other tough emotions we all deal with.
3. Isn’t Testosterone to Blame for Male Aggression?
As stated early, boys will be boys just reinforces the popular belief that males are more aggressive and exhibit risky behavior. But that popular belief has been refuted by many scientific studies over the last few decades. Even with that knowledge, it seems that the belief still excuses aggressive male behavior.
In one scientific study, published in 2009, research showed that men were more likely to be aggressive when they thought they were given extra testosterone even when they were receiving a placebo. Researcher and Economist Dr. Michael Naef, of the University of Zurich shared, "It appears that it is not testosterone itself that induces aggressiveness, but rather the myth surrounding the hormone. In a society where qualities and manners of behavior are increasingly traced to biological causes and thereby partly legitimated, this should make us sit up and take notice.”