No, not at all.
Phrases such as “boys will be boys” are usually stated in the context of excusing or enabling rowdy, unsavory or downright dangerous behavior by insinuating that boys and teenagers are innately and unconditionally menacing, which is untrue. It suggests that socioculturally learned behaviors are biologically wired. This is a damaging presumption for a few reasons.
1. It sets the precedent for male violence and patriarchal learned traits in young boys and allows them to flourish into men who become belligerent and obnoxious. By stating that these traits are somehow organic as cell growth, it creates a society in which male chauvinism is normalized, empathized with even, because they can’t help it. It diminishes the opportunity for real discourse on the political nature and dismantling of toxic masculinity to occur, because by the standard of “boys will be boys”, its just how they are.
2. It cements the existence and legitimacy of gender roles and characteristics. By the inclination that boys are inherently violent, the counter assumption is that girls are passive, docile, nurturing and malleable. So when you have one half of the world that’s unanimously aggressive and the other that’s passive, abuse, coercion and manipulation become commonplace and unquestioned. There is hardly a phrase of “girls will be girls” but there are various statements that equate girlhood, and by that virtue, womanhood with shame, degradation and weakness (ie. “don’t hit like a girl”, “stop being such a girl” etc) and by these statements, male aggression and female submissiveness become the compliments to one another.
3. It blurs the line between culture and nature. The fact is that no classification of human beings are born a certain way. This assumption is immensely harmful and has been the catalyst to the existence of scientific racism and misogyny. Patriarchy is an unfortunate byproduct of politics and culture, not imminent. To pathologize boyhood and manhood in such a way is to stunt a man’s progression and obliterate accountability for one’s actions, but also creates a society that neutralizes it (as stated in point 1).