Thursday, May 27, 2021
Ronald Levant & Shana Pryor, The Tough Standard: The Hard Truth about Masculinity and Violence
Men are commonly expected to act “masculine” (e.g., unemotional, self-reliant, tough, dominant, and fixated on sex) while avoiding stereotypically “feminine” traits (e.g., emotional expressivity, empathy, compassion, and nurturance). Few, however, realize that these qualities—when taken to the extreme—can cause emotional constriction, substance abuse, depression, poor physical health, aggression, and violence in men. Further, even though most men are not violent, decades of research have shown that masculinity is directly and indirectly related to sexual and gun violence and men’s poorer health. Considering how girls and women have benefitted from conversations on how to navigate their gender in a changing world, similar processes are urgently needed for boys and men. The Tough Standard connects the dots between masculinity and the present moment in American culture (defined by high-profile movements such as #MeToo, #MarchForOurLives, and #BlackLivesMatter), synthesizes over four decades of research in the psychology of men and masculinities, and proposes solutions to corresponding social problems.
Table of Context
- Masculinity and the Present Cultural Moment
- Theories of Gender and How Masculinity Is Measured
- Consequences of Masculinity
- Summaries of Research on Masculinity’s Harmful Linkages
- Masculinity’s Role in Gun and Other Physical Violence
- Masculinity’s Role in Sexual Violence
- Men’s Health and Experiences of Trauma
- Many Masculinities
- What Can Be Done?