"We now know that there are two critical periods during childhood when boys are particularly vulnerable. The most obvious occurs at the onset of puberty, when members of both sexes experience an emotional and hormonal upheaval. Boys and girls at that time desperately need their father's supervision, guidance, and love. But according to Dr. Carol Gilligan, professor at Harvard University, there is another critical period earlier in life- one not shared by girls. Very young boys bask in their mothers' femininity and womanliness during infancy and toddlerhood. Fathers are important then, but mothers are primary. At about three to five years of age, however, a lad gradually pulls away from his mom and sisters in an effort to formulate a masculine identity. It is typical for boys during those years, and even earlier, to crave the attention and involvement of their dads and to try to emulate his behavior and mannerisms."
- Dr. James Dobson, "The Wonderful World of Boys"