Male Socialization Essays

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Male Socialization

While there are many competing theories surrounding the development of gender roles, this one fact is incontestable and unavoidable: men and women are socialized differently. There is not yet enough conclusive evidence to determine how large of a role biology plays in creating the gendered psyches, but, whilst scientists continue to explore the intricacies of neurology, we can draw conclusions about how social mores assist in instilling masculinity and femininity into our culture. The following pages will explore how U.S. culture affects the socialization of its males.
The male infant born in the United States of America is born into a legacy of masculine expectations. From pre-industrial times until the 1960’s,
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If, as is the pattern with most families living within the U.S., the father remains the primary breadwinner of the family, the son internalizes the idea that a man is someone who is depended upon for stability and practicality. If, as many men have noted of their childhoods, their father is emotionally unavailable, then boys are taught that the mysterious thing that is masculinity is about stoicism, silence, and a willingness to bear things out on one’s own.
When a boy is brought up apart from any real-life male role models, he is forced to turn to the men he sees in books, magazines, and film for guidance along the path to manhood. Even young men with father figures in their lives are beleaguered by these caricatures of masculinity. Often what boys encounter when turning on the television or flipping through pages of books and magazines is our society’s love affair with “the lone gun man.” He is romanticized in all forms of media. He is physically strong, stoic, quiet, aloof, and untouchable. He is John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway, and Indiana Jones. This, boys often infer, is what real manhood is all about, for these are the sort of men that women desire and other men emulate.
When boys reach school age, they encounter further socialization in the form of peer groups, as well as difficulties within the learning environment. For every one girl that has ADD, there are six boys with the dysfunction. For better control
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