“A relevant and passionate exploration of boys’ real stories and how their inner lives intersect with our broader culture of masculinity. No other podcaster is creating something like this.” — ★★★★★

Breaking the Boy Code


Every year, hundreds of boys across Canada die by suicide, and countless others struggle with pain and uncertainty. This podcast looks directly into the inner lives of boys—personal, emotional experiences that are often hidden from view.

Boys feel things. Boys cry and tremble and break their hearts; they get betrayed and let down and lose things that matter them. Yet throughout all of these experiences runs the ‘boy code,’ a steadily reinforced culture that demands rigidness and invulnerability from boys and men. So they learn at a young age to differentiate between internal feelings and what they express on the outside. In doing so, they lose connection to each other and to themselves.

If we—as parents, teachers and role models—are going to play an effective role in our boys’ lives, we need to nurture that connection by being aware of their inner lives and how they express them. Because of the boy code, this isn’t always easy to do. But for our boys’ mental health, self identity and relationships, it’s crucial.

As the adage goes, boys will not be boys. They will be men. What if we could stay connected to them and help them become healthy, gentle, loving men? What if we taught them to meet fear with honesty, to meet isolation with communication, to meet violence with dignity? What if each boy met the boy code with a chain breaker and an open heart?

Each episode of the podcast is centred on a boy describing a single experience. This is interwoven with the perspectives of experts and leaders in progressive masculinity: writers, educators, researchers, parents, mentors. As we talk, the hidden becomes visible. The visible becomes a step towards connection.

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Read Breaking the Boy Code on Medium

Breaking the Boy Code is not just a podcast.

We also publish articles on Medium that unpack the podcast episodes as well as larger cultural conversations like #MeToo and Kavanaugh. Both the podcast and the Medium publication are supported by years of research on boyhood masculinity, the highlights of which are continuously catalogued on Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube.

These collections, along with the Breaking the Boy Code Education Collection on SoundCloud, are designed to be a resource for educators seeking to engage more effectively with boys. Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you’d like any support.

In memory of Lawrence, Jordan, Ronin, Leelah, Zander, Connor, Bryson, Ally, Jamel, Kade

“We have come to grips with the fact that every boy has an inner life, that their hearts are full. Every boy is sensitive, and every boy suffers. When we acknowledge boys’ emotional vulnerability, we can help them meet the shadows in their lives with a more meaningful light.” — Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson


This podcast is made possible by the support of listeners like you. A committed group of patrons support Breaking the Boy Code on Patreon, helping to add boys’ voices to a growing conversation about masculinity, and bring real, emotional connection to countless boys’ lives. If you think this project is worthwhile, please consider joining them.

Breaking the Boy Code is also supported by Next Gen Men, a Canadian organization focused on building better men through youth and peer engagement, education and empowerment.

Website and graphic design is by Original Story Design Co.

Thanks to Angie, Carleigh, Cheryl, Jack, Jackson, Jake, Jameson, Mark, Michael, Mikael, Sarah, Vicky, William

Support Breaking the Boy Code on Patreon


If you have any questions, comments or feedback, we’d love to hear from you. You can email the podcast at breakingtheboycode@gmail.com or connect with Jonathon on his personal website.

You can also connect with Breaking the Boy Code with the handle @boypodcast on pretty much all mainstream social media, and subscribe to the podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

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