Masculinity In Literature

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Gender is a biological characteristic as well as a social construct based on the characteristics of males and females. The way an individual sees themselves is termed gender identity. However, the expectations that society places on certain genders can be labeled as gender roles or gender-typing. It is a popular belief that children begin knowing if they are a boy or girl before the age of two years old. From early on everyone in a child’s life helps him or her shape their idea of what being a girl or boy is about. In the situation of gender-typing, there is the common cultural belief about what it means to be a girl or a boy with accompanying acceptable behaviors. For instance, it is expected for boys to be dirty, roughhouse or fight, be destructive,…show more content…
Even with the negative effects of such social expectations, the ideas of masculinity are still widely praised and exploited throughout American culture. In much of women’s romance literature, the male protagonist are usually well-muscled, domineering, violent in protecting the heroine, and emotionally hardened. Literature such as this is telling women that this is what desirable men look like and telling men this is the kind of men that women want, but when faced with real people who are more complex than fictional characters men are condemned as testosterone-fueled monsters without proper control of their sexual desires. However, consistently this is the framework for the more traditional ideas of masculinity with a heavy focus on power, also with a strong fear of femininity, which has become the basis for gender role conflict theory where men “adhere to rigid, restrictive, and sexist male roles in ways which lead to personal and relational dysfunction”(). Then when this restrictive sense of self is jeopardized or threatened some men can
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