BIG boys don't cry. How often do we hear young kids being told this; encouraged to avoid displaying feelings and emotions that don't fit into the mould of 'big strong man'?

As we continue to perpetuate strict gender stereotypes, it has long begged the question whether we are doing men a disservice, implying they should bottle things up rather than confront issues and their emotions in a healthy manner.

For young boys growing up, there are assumptions made. They should show interest and partake in sports, climb trees and scrap with other boys, and should not cry or admit feeling a certain way.

Actor and comedian Robert Webb of Peep Show fame is on a mission to change all this with his new book 'How Not to Be a Boy'.

Before you despair that it's a case of another celebrity, another unnecessary autobiography, the premise does sound intriguing.

His coming-of-age memoir tells the story of his upbringing in the 1970s. The youngest son of a working-class woodcutter, he takes a retrospective examination of the impact of encouraging him as a young boy to behave in a way supposedly appropriate to his gender.

Sensitive, a writer of poetry and with a dislike for any and all sports, young Webb was no poster boy for "masculinity".

Brought up by emotionally dysfunctional parents, Webb reveals how self loathing took hold off him and had ramifications well into adulthood.

Whether it was a deliberate move or not, Webb's title reminds me of Times' journalist and writer Caitlin Moran and her 2011 book 'How to be a Woman'.

I remember picking up a copy whilst at the airport about to head off on a family trip. It was a spontaneous purchase, inevitably snared by the cover image, title and 50 per cent off sticker.

I was 21 and the idea of a tongue in cheek approach to womanhood was appealing.

It was a book I ate hungrily. Each anecdote leaving me in fits of laughter as Moran's part memoir, part rant gave a voice to some of the bizarre issues I had and was beginning to face.

With Moran's signature unabashed humour, she created a book that championed the embarrassment of growing up and navigating adulthood as a woman.

It had a profound effect on me, the ramifications of which are still felt to this day.

So it makes me think that if Robert Webb's book can speak to young men in a similar fashion, surely this is something worth celebrating.

For young boys struggling to fit into boisterous crowds and told not to cry, it's an important lesson and reassurance to know that our differences are what make us unique.

A good cry can be rejuvenating and good for the soul, why should men miss out?