Rural Adolescent Boys’ Negotiating Romantic Relationships: “We Need to Sacrifice our Brains”

  • Dana Dmytro University of British Columbia
  • Toupey Luft Private Practice
  • Melissa Jenkins Private Practice
  • Ryan Hoard Private Practice
  • Catherine Ann Cameron University of British Columbia
Keywords: boys, rural adolescents, dating relationships, gender, media


Twenty-four adolescent boys in Grades 9 to 12 in a rural New Brunswick high school engaged in focussed discussions that were analyzed using grounded theory to determine their heterosexual dating relationship processes. A theory was created from exchange transcriptions. The core category was wrestling with gendered expectations, reflecting their struggle with girls’ and women’s constraints on their relationships. Six related categories elucidated the core category: determining responsibility, keeping it in/letting it out, stand­ing up for oneself, making sacrifices, building trust/not trusting, and showing respect/showing disrespect. Media influences were the contextual conditions. Comparisons with girls’ proc­esses and psycho-educational interventions are considered.

Author Biographies

Dana Dmytro, University of British Columbia
Toupey Luft, Private Practice
Melissa Jenkins, Private Practice
Ryan Hoard, Private Practice
Catherine Ann Cameron, University of British Columbia
Honorary Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia
How to Cite
Dmytro, D., Luft, T., Jenkins, M., Hoard, R., & Cameron, C. A. (2013). Rural Adolescent Boys’ Negotiating Romantic Relationships: “We Need to Sacrifice our Brains”. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 47(3). Retrieved from
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