A sobering excerpt from Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion detaling the initiation rites of boys into manhood and the harsh realities they must face in order to become accepted as a man part of the tribe."When a boy is somewhere between 10 and 16 years of age, he is sent by his parents to "circumcision school," which is held every 4 or 5 years. Here in company with his age-mates he undergoes severe hazing by the adult males of the society. The initiation begins when each boy runs the gauntlet between two rows of men who beat him with clubs. At the end of this experience he is stripped of his clothes and his hair is cut. He is next met by a man covered with lion manes and is seated upon a stone facing this "lion man." Someone then strikes him from behind and when he turns his head to see who has struck him, his foreskin is seized and in two movements cut off by the "lion man." Afterward he is secluded for three months in the "yard of mysteries," where he can be seen only by the initiated.
During the course of his inititation, the boy undergoes siz major trials: beatings, exposure to cold, thirst, eating of unsavory foods, punishment, and the threat of death. On the slightest pretext, he may be beaten by one of the new initiated men, who is assigned to the task by the older men of the tribe. He sleeps without covering and suffers bitterly from the winter cold. He is forbidden to drink a drop of water during the whole three months. Meals are often made nauseating by the half-digested grass from the stomach of an antelope, which is poured over his food. If he is caught breaking any important rule governing the ceremony, he is severely punished. For example, in one of these punishments, sticks are placed between the fingers of the offender, then a strong man closes his hand around that of the novice, practically crushing his fingers. He is frightened into submission by being told that in former times boys who had tried to escape or who had revealed the secrets to women or to the unintiated were hanged and their bodies burned to ashes."
When compared to trivial realities of facing the possibility of rejection, a man's contemporary journey pales in comparison to the effacing cirucmstances that boys of this tribe endure. Women want men that have proven themselves in their own right- materializing itself in conduct and the ease in which such a man deals with ongoing pressures in his life. Resiliency is built in the face of adversity. To be challenged, is to grow. This is what makes this process worthwhile. If it didn't hurt a little, made you uncomfortable, or seemingly embarassed then you are simply wrong. Value is created by sheer effort and lack of attainability. There is no other way around it, so face it head on.