• Students will be able to identify the difference between males and females, as it is related to the expression of emotions and mental health
  • Students will explore specific societal labels or judgments applied to the expression of certain emotions
  • Students will brainstorm possible solutions to more readily expressing emotions that make males feel vulnerable

Prior to the beginning of the activity create a line on the floor, approximately 10 feet long, using masking tape, painter’s tape or yarn. Label one end with “uncomfortable” and the opposite end as “comfortable.”

“Most of our personal experiences tell us that guys are different than girls. It turns out that research and statistics support our personal experiences.  In one survey, a third of guys think society expects them to ‘be a man’ and ‘suck it up’ when they feel sad or scared. A third said they feel they should ‘hide or suppress their feelings when they feel sad or scared.’  As a result, guys tend to see seeking help as a sign of weakness. Based on research, they are less likely to recognize, talk about, and seek treatment for depression. The result is teen and young adult men are more likely to die by suicide when compared to females”.


“Today we are going to explore the research further through a visual representation of our group’s comfort level with emotional expression. I will state an emotion and you will move along the line to represent how you feel, from comfortable to uncomfortable, expressing or sharing the emotion with a close friend or trusted adult.”

  • Anger
  • Jealousy
  • Pride/Confidence
  • Confusion
  • Joy
  • Scared
  • Worried
  • Shame/embarrassment
  • Hurt
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness

  • What observations do you have based on the activity?
  • Are there certain emotions from the list that when expressed make the person seem tough? Weak?
  • Is there a pattern to the “tough” and “weak” emotions?
  • What emotions are easier to express, especially as a male?
  • What is one thing that would make it easier to express an emotion that makes someone feel more vulnerable (sadness, hurt, hopelessness, etc.)?