Season 03 Episode 09: “Men can be challenged by their role expectations in society,” Alan reasons. Sara asks the boys to define ‘precarious manhood.’ She presents the idea of a pervasive culture of masculinity, in sport, at work, and in relationships. “The idea of ‘bigger, better, and rougher’ can be aspirational,” Trajce presents. Sara argues that there are oodles of research studies showing that these reinforced behaviours can manifest and cause stress, anxiety, and violence. “In the court room, both parties can lose dignity, and court should be considered a last resort to resolve a dispute,” Alan remarks. He recounts a case that describes the pattern of fighting and make up sex between a couple which can be considered in the context of precarious manhood because of the linkage to aggression and primitive ownership framed by sex.
As a practical strategy, Sara describes a method to disclose point-in-time energy levels to negotiate a pattern of communication and support needed in relationships and to manage expectations. The boys laugh about the idea of the unicorn in dating conventions. “I wouldn’t know anything about that,” protests Trajce, “They are just mythical creatures to me!”