Passage to Manhood: A Fathers Guidebook to Initiating His Son

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Masculine performance varies over the life course, but also from one context to another.

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For instance, the sports world may elicit more traditionally normative masculinities in participants than would other settings. Masculinities vary by social class as well.


Studies suggest working class constructions of masculinity to be more normative than are those from middle class men and boys. Traditional avenues for men to gain honor were providing for their families and exercising leadership. From this perspective, in every social system there is a dominant hegemonic and idealised form of masculinity and an apotheosised form of femininity that is considered as proper for men and women.

This idealised form of masculinity hegemonic masculinity legitimates and normalises certain performances of men, and pathologises, marginalises, and subordinates any other expressions of masculinities or femininities masculine and feminine subject positions. Alongside hegemonic masculinity, Connell postulated that there are other forms of masculinities marginalised and subordinated , which according to the findings of a plethora of studies are constructed in oppressive ways Thorne This is symptomatic of the fact that hegemonic masculinity is relational, which means that it is constructed in relation to and against an Other emphasised femininity, marginalised and subordinated masculinities.

Researchers have argued that the "precariousness" of manhood contributes to traditionally-masculine behavior. In many cultures, boys endure painful initiation rituals to become men. Manhood may also be lost, as when a man is derided for not "being a man". Researchers have found that men respond to threats to their manhood by engaging in stereotypically-masculine behaviors and beliefs, such as supporting hierarchy, espousing homophobic beliefs, supporting aggression and choosing physical tasks over intellectual ones.

In , Winegard and Geary wrote that the precariousness of manhood involves social status prestige or dominance , and manhood may be more or less precarious due to the avenues men have for achieving status. However, men who identify with traditionally-masculine pursuits such as football or the military may see masculinity as precarious. According to Winegard, Winegard, and Geary, this is functional; poetry and painting do not require traditionally-masculine traits, and attacks on those traits should not induce anxiety.

This suggests that nature-versus-nurture debates about masculinity may be simplistic. Although men evolved to pursue prestige and dominance status , how they pursue status depends on their talents, traits and available possibilities. In modern societies, more avenues to status may exist than in traditional societies and this may mitigate the precariousness of manhood or of traditional manhood ; however, it will probably not mitigate the intensity of male-male competition.

Although often ignored in discussions of masculinity, women can also express masculine traits and behaviors. Although female masculinity is often associated with lesbianism , expressing masculinity is not necessarily related to a woman's sexuality. In feminist philosophy , female masculinity is often characterized as a type of gender performance which challenges traditional masculinity and male dominance. Kramer argues that the discussion of masculinity should be opened up "to include constructions of masculinity that uniquely affect women.

Women who participate in sports, especially male-dominated sports, are sometimes derided as being masculine. Even though most sports emphasize stereotypically masculine qualities, such as strength, competition, and aggression, women who participate in sports are still expected to conform to strictly feminine gender norms.

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Although traditional gender norms are gradually changing, female athletes, especially those that participate in male-dominated sports such as boxing, weight lifting, American football, ice hockey, and motor sports, are still often viewed as deviating from the boundaries of femininity and may suffer repercussions such as discrimination or mistreatment from administrators, harassment by fans, and decreased media attention.

Evidence points to the negative impact of hegemonic masculinity on men's health-related behavior, with American men making Men make Twenty-five percent of men aged 45 to 60 do not have a personal physician, increasing their risk of death from heart disease. Men between 25 and 65 are four times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than women, and are more likely to be diagnosed with a terminal illness because of their reluctance to see a doctor.

Reasons cited for not seeing a physician include fear, denial, embarrassment, a dislike of situations out of their control and the belief that visiting a doctor is not worth the time or cost. Studies of men in North America and Europe show that men who consume alcoholic drinks often do so in order to fulfill certain social expectations of manliness. While the causes of drinking and alcoholism are complex and varied, gender roles and social expectations have a strong influence encouraging men to drink. In , Arran Stibbe published an analysis of a well-known men's-health magazine in According to Stibbe, although the magazine ostensibly focused on health it also promoted traditional masculine behaviors such as excessive consumption of convenience foods and meat, alcohol consumption and unsafe sex.

Research on beer-commercial content by Lance Strate [69] yielded results relevant to a study of masculinity. Commercials often focus on situations in which a man overcomes an obstacle in a group, working or playing hard construction or farm workers or cowboys.

Those involving play have central themes of mastery of nature or each other , risk and adventure: fishing, camping, playing sports or socializing in bars. There is usually an element of danger and a focus on movement and speed watching fast cars or driving fast. The bar is a setting for the measurement of masculinity in skills such as billiards , strength, and drinking ability. Gay men are considered by some to "deviate from the masculine norm" and are benevolently stereotyped as "gentle and refined", even by other gay men. According to gay human-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell :.

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Contrary to the well-intentioned claim that gays are "just the same" as straights, there is a difference. What is more, the distinctive style of gay masculinity is of great social benefit. Wouldn't life be dull without the flair and imagination of queer fashion designers and interior decorators? How could the NHS cope with no gay nurses, or the education system with no gay teachers? Society should thank its lucky stars that not all men turn out straight, macho and insensitive.

The different hetero and homo modes of maleness are not, of course, biologically fixed.

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Psychologist Joseph Pleck argues that a hierarchy of masculinity exists largely as a dichotomy of homosexual and heterosexual males: "Our society uses the male heterosexual-homosexual dichotomy as a central symbol for all the rankings of masculinity, for the division on any grounds between males who are "real men" and have power, and males who are not". In the documentary The Butch Factor , gay men one of them transgender were asked about their views of masculinity. Masculine traits were generally seen as an advantage in and out of the closet , allowing "butch" gay men to conceal their sexual orientation longer while engaged in masculine activities such as sports.

Effeminacy is inaccurately [39] associated with homosexuality , [40] and some gay men doubted their sexual orientation; they did not see themselves as effeminate, and felt little connection to gay culture. Feminine-looking men tended to come out earlier after being labeled gay by their peers. More likely to face bullying and harassment throughout their lives, [75] they are taunted by derogatory words such as " sissy " implying feminine qualities.

Effeminate, " campy " gay men sometimes use what John R. Ballew called "camp humor", such as referring to one another by female pronouns according to Ballew, "a funny way of defusing hate directed toward us [gay men]" ; however, such humor "can cause us [gay men] to become confused in relation to how we feel about being men". Identifying those aspects of being a man we most value and then cultivate those parts of our selves can lead to a healthier and less distorted sense of our own masculinity.

A study by the Center for Theoretical Study at Charles University in Prague and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic found significant differences in shape among the faces of heterosexual and gay men, with gay men having more "stereotypically masculine" features "undermin[ing] stereotypical notions of gay men as more feminine looking. Gay men have been presented in the media as feminine and open to ridicule, although films such as Brokeback Mountain are countering the stereotype. Second-wave pro-feminism paid greater attention to issues of sexuality, particularly the relationship between homosexual men and hegemonic masculinity.

This shift led to increased cooperation between the men's liberation and gay liberation movements developing, in part, because masculinity was understood as a social construct and in response to the universalization of "men" in previous men's movements. Men's-rights activists worked to stop second-wave feminists from influencing the gay-rights movement, promoting hypermasculinity as inherent to gay sexuality. Masculinity has played an important role in lesbian culture, [84] although lesbians vary widely in the degree to which they express masculinity and femininity.

In LGBT cultures, masculine women are often referred to as " butch ". Two concerns over the study of the history of masculinity are that it would stabilize the historical process rather than change it and that a cultural overemphasis on the approach to masculinity lacks the reality of actual experience. According to John Tosh, masculinity has become a conceptual framework used by historians to enhance their cultural explorations instead of a specialty in its own right.

According to Tosh, the culture of masculinity has outlived its usefulness because it cannot fulfill the initial aim of this history to discover how manhood was conditioned and experienced and he urged "questions of behaviour and agency". Stefan Dudink believes that the methodological approach trying to categorize masculinity as a phenomenon undermined its historiographic development.

The importance he places on public history hearkens back to the initial aims of gender history, which sought to use history to enlighten and change the present. Tosh appeals to historians to live up to the "social expectation" of their work, [88] which would also require a greater focus on subjectivity and masculinity. In a study of the Low Countries , Dudink proposes moving beyond the history of masculinity by embedding analysis into the exploration of nation and nationalism making masculinity a lens through which to view conflict and nation-building.

Media images of boys and young men may lead to the persistence of harmful concepts of masculinity. According to men's-rights activists, the media does not address men's-rights issues and men are often portrayed negatively in advertising. According to a paper submitted by Tracy Tylka to the American Psychological Association , "Instead of seeing a decrease in objectification of women in society, there has just been an increase in the objectification of both sexes.

And you can see that in the media today. Research in the United Kingdom found, "Younger men and women who read fitness and fashion magazines could be psychologically harmed by the images of perfect female and male physiques. In January , the American Psychological Association warns that conforming to traditional standards of masculinity can cause harm to mental health.

In Eisler and Skidmore studied masculinity, creating the idea of "masculine stress" and finding three elements of masculinity which often result in emotional stress:. Because of social norms and pressures associated with masculinity, men with spinal-cord injuries must adapt their self-identity to the losses associated with such injuries; this may "lead to feelings of decreased physical and sexual prowess with lowered self-esteem and a loss of male identity. Feelings of guilt and overall loss of control are also experienced.

Brett Martin and Juergen Gnoth found that although feminine men privately preferred feminine models, they expressed a preference for traditional masculine models in public; according to the authors, this reflected social pressure on men to endorse traditional masculine norms.

In their book Raising Cain: Protecting The Emotional Life of Boys , Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson wrote that although all boys are born loving and empathic, exposure to gender socialization the tough male ideal and hypermasculinity limits their ability to function as emotionally-healthy adults. According to Kindlon and Thompson, boys lack the ability to understand and express emotions productively because of the stress imposed by masculine gender roles. Cover goes over issues such as sexual assault and how it can be partially explained by a hypermasculinity.

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A theory of "masculinity in crisis" has emerged; [] [] Australian archeologist Peter McAllister said, "I have a strong feeling that masculinity is in crisis. Men are really searching for a role in modern society; the things we used to do aren't in much demand anymore". Deindustrialization and the replacement of smokestack industries by technology have allowed more women to enter the labor force, reducing its emphasis on physical strength. The crisis has also been attributed to the questioning of male dominance and rights granted to men solely on the basis of sex following the feminist movement.

According to John Beynon, masculinity and men are often conflated and it is unclear whether masculinity, men or both are in crisis. He writes that the "crisis" is not a recent phenomenon, illustrating several periods of masculine crisis throughout history some predating the women's movement and post-industrial society , suggesting that due to masculinity's fluid nature "crisis is constitutive of masculinity itself".

In , the word "herbivore men" became popular in Japan and was reported worldwide. Herbivore men refers to young Japanese men who naturally detach themselves from masculinity. Masahiro Morioka characterizes them as men 1 having gentle nature, 2 not bound by manliness, 3 not aggressive when it comes to romance, 4 viewing women as equals, and 5 hating emotional pain. Herbivore men are severely criticized by men who love masculinity.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 9 July Set of qualities, characteristics or roles associated with boys and men. It has been suggested that Masculine psychology be merged into this article. Discuss Proposed since April For other uses, see Masculine disambiguation.

For the book by Harvey Mansfield, see Manliness book.

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Male privilege. Hegemonic masculinity Patriarchy Sexism. Male sexuality. Bisexuality Heterosexuality Men who have sex with men. Men's health. Circumcision Erectile dysfunction Prostate cancer. Bromance Fatherhood Male bonding Mateship Stay-at-home dad. Main article: Nature versus nurture. Main article: Hegemonic masculinity. See also: Toxic masculinity. This section needs additional citations to secondary or tertiary sources such as review articles, monographs, or textbooks.

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Please add such references to provide context and establish the relevance of any primary research articles cited. Unsourced or poorly sourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Herbivore men. Main article: Straight man cancer. Human Rights portal Gender Studies portal. Sociology: a global perspective 7th ed. Belmont, California: Thomson Wadsworth. World Health Organization. Archived from the original on 8 September Retrieved 17 September Santa Barbara, Calif. In Kimmel, Michael S.

Theorizing Masculinities. Totowa, N. J: Littlefield, Adams. In Worell, Judith ed. Encyclopedia of women and gender: sex similarities and differences and the impact of society on gender, Volume 1. San Diego, California: Academic Press. Murray , " Feminist perspectives ", in Thomas, R. Murray, ed. Recent theories of human development. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. Gender feminists also consider traditional feminine traits gentleness, modesty, humility, sacrifice, supportiveness, empathy, compassion, tenderness, nurturance, intuitiveness, sensitivity, unselfishness morally superior to the traditional masculine traits courage, strong will, ambition, independence, assertiveness, initiative, rationality and emotional control.

Retrieved 6 March Masculinities in theory: an introduction. Malden, Massachusetts: Wiley-Blackwell. Masculinity reconstructed: changing the rules of manhood—at work, in relationships, and in family life. New York: Dutton. Masculinity and self perception of men identified as informal leaders PhD thesis. University of the Incarnate Word. View online preview.

International encyclopedia of men and masculinities. London New York: Routledge. Gender trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity. New York London: Routledge. Qualitative Research Journal. Masculinities 2nd ed. Cambridge: Polity. A man's place: masculinity and the middle-class home in Victorian England. Spring—Summer Feminist Studies. December The American Historical Review. Masculine domination. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

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MANHOOD: WHAT IS IT? Society has its own way to initiate boys and define men , which leads to confusion and loss of direction. Our society does not have a. Passage to Manhood: A Father's Guidebook to Initiating His Son - Kindle edition by Kevin Miles. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones .

Cultural studies. New York: Routledge. Bible Gateway. Retrieved 29 September The virgin and the bride: idealized womanhood in late antiquity. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Hooker, Richard ed. The Code of Hammurabi. King translator. Archived from the original on 14 May Classical Philology. Cultural Values. The changing fictions of masculinity.

Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Dandies and desert saints: styles of Victorian masculinity. Measuring masculinity by the size of a paycheck. In: J. Sawyer Eds. Men and masculinity pp. Berkeley: University of California Press. Englewood Cliffs, N. Indiana University. Retrieved 13 March See also : Sand, Michael S. Similarly, the names Yankee and Mormon were first used by outsiders. Note that the Christian congregation at Antioch represented a wide range of backgrounds, including Jews and non-Jews.

It may have derived from current Roman, that is, non-Christian, legal usage. In each of these instances, the term appears to originate from someone outside the community of believers themselves. In neither of the two passages from Acts does Paul use the word himself; it is non-Christians who use it. Where the term is used, the stated and implied beliefs of the Christians are far different from the present-day beliefs used to deny that Latter-day Saints are Christians, as can be clearly shown. However, Latter-day Saints do reject the doctrines of the Trinity as taught by most Christian churches today.

Consequently, it is highly questionable whether these creeds reflect the thinking or beliefs of the New Testament church. Church members take seriously such passages as Psalm [ Ps. The notion of theosis is characteristic of church fathers Irenaeus second century A. Though the idea of human deification waned in the Western church in the Middle Ages, it remained very much alive in the Eastern Orthodox faith, which includes such Christian sects today as the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches.

Maximus, as of all Eastern theology, [was] the idea of deification. Is the subject of deification truly a closed question?

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After all, echoes of man becoming like God are still found in the work of later and modern writers in the West. For instance, C. Related to the claim that Latter-day Saints are not Christians because of their belief in deification is the assertion that if they hold to some kind of belief in deification then it must be that Church members do not view Jesus as uniquely divine.


Such an assertion is totally erroneous. The argument that Latter-day Saints cannot be Christians because they practice baptism for the dead presumes that it has been definitely established that 1 Corinthians [ 1 Cor. The practice was condemned in A. Mormon temple ritual in general is another source of controversy, largely because many think that the reticence to talk about it is not Christian. The historian Tertullian second century A. As a result, the demeanor of these heretics becomes frivolous, merely human, without seriousness and without authority.

The pagan critic Celsus second century A. In his response to Celsus, Origen third century A. In the earliest period of the Christian church, it is difficult to see a distinction being made between canonical writings and some books not in the present Protestant canon. The so-called Muratorian Fragment, dating from the late second century A. Clement of Alexandria, writing around A.