Can you explain the expressions in this paragraph?
i'm reading a book about how society can affect men's behavior, but i met a confusing paragraph. Here is the paragraph:
"People are commonly raised to believe that they are worthless to begin with, that they should sacrifice themselves for their peers, and that the only way to regain their natural self-worth is by working hard and serving society. Males are unquestionably raised to believe that earning achievements is necessary to prove their value. Thus, males with status regain informal permission to think and act important, with formal authority and external recognition to back them up for as long as they still serve."
Can you explain the expressions "formal authority" and " back them up for as long as they still serve" in this paragraph? thank!