A couple of months ago I read a Facebook post that asked, “Is it good for mothers to raise their sons to be a mama’s boy, why or why not?” Then someone chimed in and deepened the conversation by saying that they did not feel that mama’s should baby their sons, but daddy’s babying and nurturing their daughters to be daddy’s girls was okay. After scrolling through all the comments, the consensus was that mothers’ raising their sons to be a mama’s boy was not good; and there was a split between the girls – some thought that it was okay for fathers to baby their daughters to be daddy’s girls and others who thought this as well was a bad idea.
What exactly is a mama’s boy – a daddy’s girl? Simply put, a mama’s boy is a term used to describe a man who is excessively attached to his mother. This is not to be confused with a close mother-son bond, but a man who is overly dependent on his mom. A daddy’s girl on the other hand is basically the same thing, but involves a father and his daughter. There seems to be less of a negative connotation associated with daddy’s girls than mama’s boys – this is not surprising if you consider that there are many women who will proudly refer to themselves as a “daddy’s girl” and wear the title like a badge of honor; but call a man a mama’s boy, he will most likely be highly offended.
Why the differing attitude towards the two considering the concept is the same? Could it be society’s view towards masculinity and femininity, gender and roles? In American (and all that I know of) society, the male is the provider, the protector, the giver – for some, the idea of a man being anything less is repulsive. On the other hand, the female in society is viewed as someone who needs to be protected, a receiver, and in early society – one who NEEDED a provider; times have changed and so have gender roles in society. Thus, we end up with the blurred line of what is appropriate relationship boundaries between mothers and their adult sons and fathers and their adult daughters rooted in societal beliefs but viewed through modern eyes. I devoted a chapter in my book, No Longer a Bridesmaid! to the “daddy’s little girl” syndrome.
What do you think?! Why do we hate mama’s boys, but love daddy’s girls?