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Bly, following the work of Mitscherlich, posits that the Industrial Revolution divided fathers and sons, because they no longer bond while working together on family farms. Bly claims that one result is that fathers feel angry and disenfranchised and their sons consequently suffer a father-wound (either physical or psychic abuse) at their hands.
This, according to Bly, causes young men either to be so angry that they become a threat to society, or so dependent on their mothers that they are socialized as ineffectual, soft males. Many writers and therapists have embraced this theory--despite a lack of historical evidence. This study tested Bly's theory by comparing dysfunctional relationships described in the literature of the Men's Movement with relationships portrayed in ancient myths, folk tales, and Bible stories.
Evidence of the father-wound was found in many of these stories, thus, casting doubt upon the historical validity of Bly's theory.