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Men and masculinity - Essay Example

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Men and Masculinity Name Institution Date Men and Masculinity Masculinity is described as a set of behaviours that most men are expected to uphold in the society. Masculinity is the possession of qualities and characteristics considered peculiar or typical to a man…
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Download file to see previous pages This implies that masculinity is not limited to men. Therefore, women may also display behaviours and characteristics that are masculine, for instance, many women have assumed the role of family providers. According to MensLine Australia (2012) masculinity is perpetuated through social set-up and enhanced through personal interactions. Traditionally, the avenues that made men gain honour included providing for their families and exercising leadership. The traditional family set-up was composed of the father being the breadwinner and the mother acting as the homemaker. Stereotypes about masculinity are often witnessed in many men, for instance, men would describe themselves as sports fanatics while avoiding soap operas that are viewed as feminine. Masculinity is often associated with the male; therefore, there is a big issue of personality in men. In case masculinity is threatened, most men would convey feelings of shame, hostility and guilt: hence they tend to overreact in the defense of masculinity. It is irrefutable the aspect of masculinity in the contemporary world, has assumed a different perspective, which is contrary to the traditional disposition in matters related to masculinity and sex. Masculinity is viewed as a collective gender identity that is socially constructed rather than a natural attribute. In the modern society, different forms of masculinity exist that reflects factors such as class, race, age, geographical affiliation and religious affiliation (Lee, 2002). Although masculinity is normally identified in pluralistic terms, masculinities differ from one society to another. The hegemonic masculinity emanating from the societal construct is what men measures against. Masculinity directs most aspects of the male behaviour, especially sexual behaviour. The male gender values are constructed through interaction with the men’s lifestyle and his interaction with social environments. The perception of sex as a component of masculinity is dependent on the sexual encounters in the early stages of development. The traditional traits associated with masculinity are control, domination, aggressiveness, violence, toughness, emotional repression and competiveness. Masculinity traits are normally acquired at a tender age. For instance, some of the insults that the young school boys commonly use to refer to their weak colleagues are the accusation of being a girl (“Guys and boys masculine things. (n.d).). Ayers (2008) assert that most men engage in body building to maintain their masculinity. Research has also affirmed that most men think that portraying dominance and power wins them admiration from women. Masculinity tells men that their urge for love and respect can only be attained through being powerful, dominant and ultimately violent. However, Alilunas (2009) posits that such factors are irrelevant to women. Many studies have revealed the problem of sexual violence, sexualised violence and sex-by-violence as products of masculinity. The contemporary society portrays masculinity despite enhanced strategies geared towards minimising or eliminating it through modernization. The first indication is the sprouting of numerous interactive forums in the media that discusses issues related to the male gender while portraying bias towards the female gender. The current modernisation has seen the liberation of women in all aspects of life, ranging from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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