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Sociology Essay Example: The Perceptions of Masculinity in the Society

4 pages
1089 words
Vanderbilt University
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The set of qualities, behaviors and the role associated with men and boys is known as masculinity which is biologically created and defined socially. It is not determined by the biological sex since both females and males are found having the masculine behaviors and traits. The characters which were traditionally known to be masculine include assertiveness, a person being independent and courageous. But the characteristics differ depending on the context and location as they are influenced by cultural and socials factors. Masculinity is often associated with the disregard for consequences and responsibility. People view it in different perceptions depending on their culture, beliefs, and location.

It is more suitable to discuss masculinities rather than the single predominant concept as masculinity differ depending on place and time. People began to study the history of masculinity in the 1980s which were aided by the fields of gender and womens history. Earlier, there was little study done about how men are related to the domesticity, family life, and household. Despite the fact that womens historical role was annulled the male experience was also missing the void that brought many questions in the 1970s as the women history was being analyzed to deepen the female experiences (Budgeon and Shelley, 317). A seminal article known as Joan Scott laid the foundation of this field. According to her, gender is supposed to be viewed in two ways, which are produced and productive. The role of productive gender is to create compelling relationships while produced sex is used to change throughout the history. And this has been influencing the definition of masculinity.

The masculinity qualities have degrees of comparison; it is either most masculine or more masculine while the opposite is expressed by epicene or unmanly. The manliness concept differs both culturally and historically. Although its excellent is seen as a 19th century ideal of masculinity, the modern standards consider it as an effeminate. The masculine norms are the pursuit of achievement, self-reliance, aggression, and homophobia just to name a few. The norms strengthen the gender roles as they associate attributes and traits with one gender. These qualities exhibits in both females and males. A person with both feminine and masculine traits is considered as androgynous which is said to be the cause of blur gender classification.

When a person displays characteristics that are not run of the mill of one's sexual orientation, it turns into a social issue in many societies all around. This naming is known as sexual orientation presumptions in sociology which happen to be part of the socialization while meeting the customs of society (Cuddy and Amy JC, et al, 622). These traits are said to be non-standard behaviors which are considered as indicators of homosexuality although sexual orientation and gender identity are broadly accepted as the distinct concepts. There have been debates regarding the relative significance of genetics and socialization, and despite the fact that social molding is accepted to play a part, there is believe that parts of masculine and feminine personality are intuitively present in every male who is human. Behavioral genetics, anthropology, human ecology, sociology and evolutionary psychology has addressed the historical development of gender roles while human cultures around the world are seen to encourage it in literature, song, and costume.

The discussion has come up to explain how masculinity is an essential condition. Researchers have also been done such as Genome to describe it. Additionally, people have debated ways in which children develop gender identity. Most of the people believe that masculinity is connected to the males body; therefore, masculinity is found to be linked with the male genitalia. While others argue that even if it is influenced by biological factors, culture plays a significant role in constructing these traits. The research done recently revealed that masculinity differs in different cultures and also on the levels of the testosterone do not foretell how it feels to have masculine or feminine aspects. The proponents used in this view argue that women have the capability of becoming men hormonally and physically for most of the features of masculinity which are believed to be natural are driven by linguistic and cultural. On the other side of nurture, masculinity is found to have zero sources.

The researchers have said that the evenness of manhood is the primary cause of the traditionally-masculine behavior. They argue that manhood is not inborn, but it is something that is gained and thats why many cultures make boys endure painful initiation rituals as a way of becoming men. When a man is ridiculed for not being a real man, manhood is said to be lost. Men respond to such threats by engaging in stereotypically-masculine beliefs and behaviors such as selecting physical tasks over intellectual ones. The precariousness of manhood entails social status; thus, it can be either more or less depending on the achievement. Masculinity is experienced differently depending on ones perception. For instance, men in creative pursuits such as painting do not experience manhood as precarious unlike men with traditional-masculine pursuits such as military find masculinity to be uncertain (Thompson Jr, et al. 115). These views suggest that masculinity is simplistic, even if men are supposed to pursue dominance, ways in which they use to seek status rely on present possibilities, characteristics, and gifts. Many avenues to condition exist in the modern society than in the traditional community which is mitigating the precariousness of manhood.

To sum up, it is appropriate to say that the different perceptions of masculinity depend on location, peoples culture and their beliefs which differ. Therefore, masculinity is supposed to be discussed in the plural. On the other hand, masculinity varies as it is measured by degrees. However, many societies have a big problem with a person with traits that differ from the sex one belong to, as it is believed it promotes homosexuality. Many discussion has arisen trying to explain that masculinity is inborn, but the researchers think that it is not arguing that the aspects are achieved. This has brought confusion for people have not yet come up to an agreement. Nevertheless, it is something that has been in our societies and is still there; therefore, it should be appreciated and embraced.


Work cited

Budgeon, Shelley. "The dynamics of gender hegemony: Femininities, masculinities and social change." Sociology 48.2 (2014): 317-334.

Cuddy, Amy JC, et al. "Men as cultural ideals: Cultural values moderate gender stereotype content." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 109.4 (2015): 622.

Thompson Jr, Edward H., and Kate M. Bennett. "Measurement of masculinity ideologies: A (critical) review." Psychology of Men & Masculinity 16.2 (2015): 115.


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