Young men

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Young men are adult men between between 20 and 39 years old.

Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · See also · External links


  • If young men only had to contend with the disappointment of parents, teachers, politicians, officials, and planners, this would be bad enough. But the unrealizable expectations that have been provoked amidst persisting severe inequalities - within states, across regions, and around the globe - can also elicit far more severe threats to young men’s standing. This is so because marginalized young men are also often portrayed as being dangerous. As Barker pointed out: “In many parts of the world, it has become something of a national sport to demonize young men, particularly low-income young men.” This kind of demonization has been associated with “punitive, unjust, and ineffective policies,” in particular the widespread increase in the incarceration of young men in Latin America, the English speaking Caribbean, the United States, and Europe. In the United States, the incarceration rates of young black men in particular, rose at a dramatic pace during the 1990s.
  • I have met plenty of shooters, even some killers. When I look carefully at what they have been through, in many cases I must admit that I might not have done things much differently than they did. Imagine that your early life was filled with deprivation, distrust, and trauma. Your main source of support is a small group of young men you grew up with. A rival kills one of them - your closest friend - and the police do nothing. Would you turn the other cheek? We all hope that we would make the right decision, but no one can be sure. David Kennedy once described these young men to me as “more trapped than evil,” and I agree.


  • Those who should be worried about interpersonal violence are those living in low-income communities. The violence is overwhelmingly directed inward: low-income young men against other low-income young men. If you are a young man between the ages of 15 and 24, living in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, and in settings like this around the world, you should indeed be worried about interpersonal violence.
  • Of 1,500 young men aged 18–30, we found that nearly 1 in 5 thought about suicide in the past two weeks. Which young men were more likely to think about suicide? Those who believed in a version of manhood associated with being tough, not talking about their problems, and bottling up their emotions were twice as likely to have considered suicide.
  • The negative reproductive health outcomes among Latino young men may partially be attributable to low levels of contraceptive use among this population. The 2002 NSFG reveals that across all ethnic/racial groups, young Latinos are the least likely to use a contraceptive method at various points in their sexual history. For example, 34 percent of sexually experienced Latino young men reported that they used no contraceptive method at first sex, compared to 22 percent of white and 18 percent of African American young men. Even more salient to HIV/STI prevention is the use of condoms. Sexually active Latinos in the NSFG sample were less likely to use a condom (60 percent) at first sex than African American (81 percent) or white (68 percent) young men.
  • There is danger that a young man, who is suffered to grow up in a great measure uncontrolled, will form a habit of idleness. We do not find that children, if left to themselves, choose labour; and where they form the habit, it is usually the result of parental instruction, counsel, and perhaps authority, rather than of their own taste or inclination. You may look all the world over, and you will find, with few exceptions, that young persons who are allowed to do just as they please, show themselves disposed to do very little, at least little to any good purpose; and the consequence is, that, at no distant period, thy have a confirmed habit of idleness which rends them little better than mere cumberers of the ground.


  • Studies show gay men usually recognized that they were somehow “different” from their heterosexual peers around age 5 or 6 and society is increasingly supportive of young men “coming out” in their early teen years; however, the individual decision may be fraught with tension and anxiety, and depending on the environment or geographical location, a young man’s peers may respond with diverse reactions ranging from nonchalant acceptance to physical violence perpetrated against him.
  • Sean was 21 years old and homeless… At the age of 15, Sean was showing sexualized behaviour toward male adults. This concern, alongside reports from another boy, led to an investigation. Sean reported that he had been repeatedly subjected to sexual abuse by Mr. Lister, the head of care at the school. As head of care, Mr. Lister was in a central and powerful position in the school. This included making decisions about behaviour grades that would result in the provision or restriction of privileges. He also made decisions about permission to return home at weekends. He lived on the school premises in a cottage, to which he invited pupils and sexually abused them, In Sean’s case, the sexual abuse had taken place over a period of six to nine months. Sean was not aware that there were others being sexually victimised at the school by the same person. Mr. Lister disappeared during the course of the investigation and was believed to have left the country.


  • Revolutionary potentials for openness and change in masculinities are likely to stem from the margin. In other words, it is those in the margin who foster the openness toward which men in the centre need to move. Indeed, it was with one man… a queer, working-class man in Germany - that openness and egalitarian, revolutionary practices, beliefs and commitments in relation to masculinity emerged. He modeled what could be considered a “caring masculinity,” defined as masculinities that “reject domination and its associated traits and embrace values of care such as positive emotion, interdependence, and relativity.” Locked out of the privileges of the closed centre, he adopted a radical politics of gender and sexuality, challenged dictates of closed masculinities, and had a strong commitment to care.


  • To be sober minded, the young man must indulge in serious reflection. Placed in this world as he is - surrounded by so many objects of interest - amid intelligent beings like himself… He must turn his thoughts, now and then, from the scenes which constantly meet his eye to more serious meditations.


  • Within the first month in prison, young men had to adapt in three different ways. Firstly, they had to adapt practically to life inside. There were a number of aspects of the prison about which they had to learn: they had to learn what they were entitled to and what they were not; what they were allowed to do in their cells and what they were not; and what time different events of the regime occurred, such as when they would be unlocked and for how long. They needed to know where to apply for employment within the prison or how to attend education, how to attend the gym or a church, or other religious services (for example, Friday prayers for Muslims). The canteen was another essential aspect of prison life: how much money could they spend and how did they go about spending it? They needed to know when they could shower, and how and when they could receive visits.


  • Equating talking about men with attacking others means that it’s safer to discuss negative aspects of masculinity than positive aspects, because that invites less confrontation. But there’s a lack of affirmative discussion about what we want boys and young men to grow up to be, and how we can empower young men to lead positive lives. A friend of mine is a lawyer who represents youth expelled from public schools… Most of the students she represents are male, and often these boys and young men get into trouble for fighting, inappropriate touching of girls, talking back to teachers, and generally disobeying the instructions of authority figures. My friend has recommended that schools and other organizations that work with male students try to develop programs and initiatives focused on encouraging healthy forms of masculinity. She believes more dialogue with boys about masculinity could help them mature and be more thoughtful about how they treat each other and their female classmates. But in response, she has been told that such initiatives would “promote patriarchy” and not be inclusive enough.


  • By now, the abysmal patterns and statistics are so well known that they no longer evoke a sense of shock or disbelief. Black male youths are overrepresented in every educational category associated with failure (e.g. suspension and expulsion rates, dropout rates, special education placements, etc.) and underrepresented in every category associated with educational success. The patterns emerge early, even as early as preschool, and foreshadow those associated with adult Black males.


  • As a young Asian man, I shrank before white eyes. I wasn’t tall, I wasn’t fair, I wasn’t muscular, and so on. Combine that with the enormous insecurities any pubescent teenager feels, and I have no difficulty in knowing now why I felt naked before a mass of white people.


  • To project ourselves into their final thoughts will require feelings about a special kind of death - the sudden death in fire of the young, elite, unfulfilled, and seemingly unconquerable. As the elite of young men, they felt more surely than most who are young that they were immortal.


  • They saw the growing peril to Britain and the rest of Europe but had no power to do anything about it. Most of them were under fifty; under normal circumstances, they and their contemporaries would now be moving into positions of influence and authority within the government. But there were far too few of them. Theirs was a lost generation, decimated by war. The other young men who likely would have shared their progressive views and their opposition to conciliating the dictators - their brothers, cousins, childhood friends, schoolmates - were lying in graves scattered throughout France and Belgium.


  • The most important thing a young man ever does is to get ready. The key-note lasts to the end of the tune, and the foundation reaches clear to the finial. Beginnings are autocratic. No matter how long a man lives, he will never get away from his youth… A good many young men excuse themselves from ever becoming anything or doing anything by the fact that they always live where it is low tide. Perhaps that is because it is always low tide where they live. At any rate, the more I learn of the history of the men who have succeeded the more apparent it becomes that if they were born in low water they patched up their tattered circumstances and beat out to sea on a tide of their own making.


  • Adolescent and young adult men do poorly on indicators of mental health evidenced by elevated rates of suicide, conduct disorder, substance use, and interpersonal violence… Evidence indicates that boys disconnect from health-care services during adolescence, marking the beginning of a progression of health-care disengagement and associated barriers to care, including presenting to services differently, experiencing an inadequate or poorly attuned clinical response, and needing to overcome pervasive societal attitudes and self-stigma to access available services.
  • Young working-class men are not hostage to the traditional predispositions held by their counterparts from previous generations. They embrace service work and its attendant demands, and do not present a masculinity that is out of step with the contemporary economy; rather, such attitudes represent a “new normal” for young working-class men. [However] despite evidencing a more inclusive version of masculinity that is required of them to successfully integrate into the contemporary work, they are far from able to engage in significant upward social mobility. Having dispositions that make emotional labour possible, even enjoyable, does not offer a “silver bullet” solution to unemployment, underemployment, or low-pay, low-skill work.


  • As adults we can assume that "adolescence" is a problem that needs to be solved, in order to minimize the risky behavior that young men, in particular, are likely to engage in. We readily assume that to be young is to be “guilty,” as if young people are waiting to be blamed for whatever goes wrong in their lives. Implicitly we theorise as adults who “already know,” through a reason that a dominant masculinity alone can take for granted. In an Enlightenment vision of modernity shaped by a dominant masculinity, reason as the source of knowledge is separated from feelings and desires which are framed in Kantian terms as forms of unreason and determination. So “adolescence” as a category within a rationalist tradition is framed as the object of a scientific gaze. As a biologically defined stage of development, we come to know “adolescence” within rationalist terms according to which, as social scientists, we have everything to teach and little to learn.


  • As a group of young men in Riyadh point out, the easiest way to socialize with girls is through social media; thus if a young man wants to find a girlfriend, that is where he will look. In fact, most young men have girlfriends they found through social media, says one individual, but he stresses that they can rarely meet in public, He jokes that it is “top secret or like organized crime,” even though it is becoming more commonplace. According to an 18-year-old in Riyadh, “Everyone has a girlfriend, or boyfriend, these days, it is normal. Of course, we do not tell our parents because they would not understand."
  • Young men are peculiarly sensitive to the effect of ridicule, and are easily laughed or bantered out of their opinions when they have not embraced them from careful inquiry and accurate investigation.
  • The desire to create a close and loving family is rarely discussed in relation to young men, particularly young men in prison… Yet [many incarcerated young men] are concerned with presenting themselves as able to take care of others - parents, siblings, and real or desired offspring, reflecting both traditional traits and a certain kind of modern manhood.


  • If the young transgender man finds himself on the wrong side of the law, this can be a very eye-opening experience for him, especially if he has socially transitioned and is living as male. He will be searched by female officers if he is taken into custody, and because the justice system has gender-specific juvenile detention centers, it may be that a young transgender man finds himself in a female prison if his anti-social behavior has increased to the point where he has been convicted of offenses. This will be a traumatising experience for a young transgender man, and has the possibility for severely impacting on mental health.
  • And a very great evil has befallen a young man, when wicked men feel that they have a right to his acquaintance. When I see a gambler slapping a young mechanic on the back; or a lecherous scoundrel suffusing a young man’s cheek by a story at which, despite his blushes, he yet laughs; I know the youth has been guilty of criminal indiscretion, or these men could not approach him thus. That is a brave and strong heart that can stand up pure in a company of artful wretches, When wicked men mean to seduce a young man, so tremendous are the odds in favor of practiced experience against innocence, that there is not one chance in a thousand, if the young man lets them approach him. Let every young man remember that he carries, by nature, a breast of passions just such as bad men have. With youth they slumber; but temptation can wake them, bad men can influence them; they know the road, they know how to serenade the heart; how to raise the sash, and elope with each passion.


  • Every young man’s body is worth more to him than any fortune. He can squander it; he can waste it; he can throw it away. How can I burn into your minds and hearts the important duty of conserving this strength unless I make you understand what it costs to raise a boy? The wealth of [America] is not in the ground - it is above the ground. The most important wealth of this country is its manhood and womanhood.
    • Young Men's Christian Association, Young Men, University of Michigan, (1914), p. 205

See also

  • Encyclopedic article on Young men on Wikipedia
  • The dictionary definition of young man on Wiktionary
  • Open data related to young men on Wikidata