They have long been ridiculed for being sissies or too feminine.
But now it seems that being a mummy's boy might actually be a good thing for a man.
A new book claims that having a close mother-son relationship actually helps boys to have better relationships with others.
Author Kate Stone Lombardi says the old stereotype that these men are weak and more likely to be gay is not true.
In fact, mummy's boys have a 'broader definition of masculinity' that is of significant benefit to their mental health.
|The front cover of The Mama's Boy Myth, in which Kate Stone Lombardi seeks to disprove the stereotype of weak, effeminate sons
Mothers with close relationships to their sons have featured in countless films including the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic 'Psycho', in which Norman Bates becomes a neurotic killer.
They have helped cement the idea that bringing up a child like that was damaging and unhealthy for both parties.
Miss Lombardi, however, disagreed and made contact with more than 1,100 mothers over the internet to explore their experiences.
The 55-year-old, who has a 23-year-old son and 26-year-old daughter, found that society fears a 'blindly adoring mother' putting endless praise on her son.
She said that the widely accepted stereotype is that 'any boy close to his mom will be a sissy, a wimp, forever dependent and never a man who can have a healthy relationship'.
Miss Lombardi, who lives in Chappaqua, New York, added there was also an 'unspoken fear' that if a mother was too great an influence her son would turn out gay.
Her book, called The Mama's Boy Myth, argues that the reality is the opposite and that a close mother-son relationship is 'good for their mental health'.
These sons are also less likely to become repressed men who cannot talk about their feelings, less susceptible to peer pressure and more likely to delay their first sexual experience.
Another benefit is that mothers are better communicators, Miss Lombardi said: 'We don't know why - if it's specifically because of the nature of the mother-son communication.
'But dads tend to have a big sex talk or big drug talk. Moms weave it into everyday conversation. It's more subtle and more often.'
She added that sons and daughters are not the same and she respects the differences between the two.
But she said: 'Sons really need their moms and the last thing they need is withdrawal of support.'
Numerous studies support Miss Lombardi's claims, including one by Arizona State University which found mummy's boys had lower rates of depression than 'tougher' peers.
Other research has found that sons who were not close to their mothers were more likely to be aggressive as teenagers.
© Daily Mail, London