If we give credence to the research detailing the centrality of affection in father-son relations and the relative irrelevance of the father’s “masculinity,” it becomes clear that boys don’t hunger for fathers who will model traditional mores of masculinity. They hunger for fathers who will rescue them from it. They need fathers who have themselves emerged from the gauntlet of their own socialization with some degree of emotional intactness. Sons don’t want their father’s “balls”; they want their hearts. And, for many, the heart of a father is a difficult item to come by. Oftentimes, the lost boy the depressed son must recover is the one not he but his father has disavowed.
- Terrence Real, quoted by Allegro at the Rigorous Intuition discussion board.