Boys will be boys

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Boys will be boys is an English phrase, that expresses the idea that boys are expected to push the limits of acceptable behavior much further than girls. It can be used as an excuse not to punish a boy for an action that would earn a female peer a punishment. Conversely the same expectation can be a excuse not to worry that a boy is getting punished far more often and much harsher than their female peers.


That's the way it is; there's no help for it. The remark of a parent whose son has been caught breaking windows, upending trash cans, throwing snowballs at car windows and whatever else boys might do. Boys have been boys for a long time, as indicated by similar expressions appearing in print as early as 1589. A few years later (1597) Thomas Deloney, in 'A Gentle Craft,' made the indictment more general: 'Youth will be youth.'
  — From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

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