Masculine Identity Essay

1347 Words 6 Pages
Katherine Allison
WS 300
Nov. 26, 2014

The theory of exclusively masculine identity forms a collectively accepted belief or idea of how males are supposed to go about their daily lives. Masculinity is an institutionally and socially prescribed role; however, males play an active part in defining and altering masculinity. For this reason, what is considered masculine varies geographically, culturally, as well as over time. Time and again, the majority of males tend to use language, work, sports, crime, sex, etc. to construct and reconstruct gender and masculinity. The idealized form of masculinity in a given place, time, and culture is intentionally used to connote the hegemony involved in the patriarchal system of gender relations. Moreover,
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Together these factors take an unprecedented toll on their mental and physical health. Society forms a collectively accepted belief or idea of how males are supposed to go about their daily lives. Males in college, generally ages 17- 23 are faced with the inevitable process of “coming of age,” shifting from boyhood to manhood. It is at this point in their lives that males are trying to live by the guidelines taught by society. The male gender role tends to exclude anything that could be construed as feminine, leading to a dichotomous construction of masculinity and femininity. For boys, gender role norms are more focused on highlighting traditionally masculine behaviors, which are rigidly enforced by both peers and parents. They are taught that a “masculine” man is the idealistic man. In other words they utilize their agency to reproduce masculinity. For example, the social construction adopted within a society, engrains the population with the accepted utilization of guns, fighting, sexual practices, daredevil behavior, physical strength , and financial wealth; all which are means of portraying ones masculinity. This can be very daunting for males because it is a façade, which must be illustrated …show more content…
In addition to the constant effort to maintain a harden shell of “Manliness,” males in college are also competing with their peers academically. Students in college are under tremendous pressure to pick the right major as well as undergoing the worry and pressure to produce top grades. Parents, media, and society convince college students that the only way to insure a good job and ability to be the primary breadwinner in the future is to meet these demands. These reminders of these demands are everywhere, especially for males who live on campus or with fellow students. This makes it literally impossible to escape these added stressors, which coincidentally impact their mental health and how they go about their day to day lives. Like previously discussed, these constant stressors lead to unhealthy practices and behaviors, causing further mental and physical health problems later on down the road. This is reflected in Gennevieve Creighton’s “Theorizing masculinities and men’s health,” which discusses a growing concern about men’s poor health outcomes. “For example, the top five causes of morality contributing to the excess years of life lost for western men versus women are cardiovascular disease, suicide, motor vehicle accidents, infectious diseases (most often HIV) and liver disease (most often secondary to alcohol

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