The Importance Of Masculinity And Femininity In Society

1419 Words 6 Pages
While sociology has long been aware of gender as a fluid spectrum rather than two distinct categories, this idea is just beginning to make its way to the forefront of mainstream media and discussions. The way gender is perceived today is a product of stereotypes being gendered and reinforced over the course of history. Masculinity and femininity have become the two, and only, district categories of gender. At birth, a person is designated either “male” or “female,” and this label shapes the way that person is viewed by the world for the rest of their life. Femininity, referring typically to social actions carried out by female bodied people, is often categorized by traits such as passiveness, emotional sensitivity, and a nurturing disposition. …show more content…
However, as I thought more about this idea, it became more evident that there is a very gendered reason for this phenomenon. As Connell and Courtenay both point out, masculinity is rooted in power. When men are the predominant gender in top-earning medical professions, it is another way for them to assert dominance. Not only do these male-dominated jobs typically earn more money, but they are generally viewed with higher regard than medical professions dominated by women, such as nursing. This relates back to the concept of hegemonic masculinity and its reflection of heteronormativity and male superiority. Masculinity thrives on a sort of “savior complex”; meaning that men are not threatened by medical environments as long as they are providing help rather than receiving …show more content…
While mental health issues are most likely just as prevalent in men as they are in women, men often fail to recognize symptoms of emotional distress and tend not to seek help for these problems (Addis & Mahalik, 2003). Ironically, masculinity may be the root cause of many of these mental health issues, while also being the social force hindering men from seeking help. Because of hegemonic masculinity’s heteronormative standards, young queer men and boys suffer significantly higher rates of mental health problems than their straight peers and are much more likely to attempt suicide. Being socialized to conform with a standard that makes someone feel uncomfortable within themselves, is a straightforward way for depression and anxiety to begin to negatively effect their lives. However, as another cruel effect of masculinity, men and boys have also been socialized to keep these problems to themselves. Male bodied people been taught from a young age to suppress their emotions because it shows weakness, and “boys don’t

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