Over the next couple months, Philly.com will host Mouthful, a podcast that features dramatic monologues highlighting the experiences and perspectives of young Philadelphians. These monologues, which are performed by professional actors, are produced by Philly Young Playwrights and Yvonne Latty, director of the Reporting the Nation program at NYU's Carter Journalism Institute.

What does it mean to be a man?

It's a difficult question to answer, even for an adult.

For teenage boys, becoming a man is much more than a question. It's a reality. It's a process that is subject to routine scrutiny and judgment from your peers and from the adults around you. It's the constant pressure to fit into a rigid and often narrow definition of what's manly: be strong, play sports, get girls. Have sex. And be good at it.

Bravado, machismo, and conquest trump kindness, vulnerability, and creativity.

But do these expectations really capture the essence of masculinity in 2017? And who, exactly, are the role models for young men and boys when it comes to how to act, how to treat women?

On this episode of Mouthful, a weekly podcast that places young people at the center of important issues, we talk to two men about what masculinity means to them:

  • Alex Papatolis, a 17 year old high school senior and young man whose award-winning comedic monologue "Misunderstanding, Didn't Understand" sheds a different light on a young man confronting the prospect of sex
  • Steve Bandura, a father of a teenage son, more widelyknown for his work with youth at the Marian Anderson Rec Center, where he is the coach of the Anderson Monarchs, including Mo'Ne Davis and six other youth who captured the attention of the world at the 2014 Little League World Series.

Want to get in on the conversation? Listen here.