Traditionally, men have been expected to be strong, brawny, tough, and macho. But what happens when a man is more gentle and sensitive? Those kinds of characteristics have long been associated with females and femininity, and males who express those traits are often referred to as effeminate or emasculated. Thankfully, society is slowly changing, and more men today are able to express their emotions and gentler sides. As a parent, it's important to show your children examples of men and boys who don't fit the stereotypical macho man mold. You can start by picking up some children's books that teach healthy masculinity.
The term "healthy masculinity" means different things to different people. For some it is about removing violence from the perceived definition of being masculine. The prevalence of rape and rape culture are often sited as some of the main reasons why more young men need to readjust to idea of a new masculinity. And, it's not just about culture, it's about health, as well. According to Psychology Today, in a 17 year study of more than 700 men, those with traditionally "feminine" characteristics had lower rates of death from coronary heart disease.
Here are some books you can read to and with your kids that display examples of healthy masculinity.