Essay On Masculinity And Aging

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4. Masculinity and aging There are many factors which may influence masculinity and the extent to which men perceive themselves as masculine. Culture and the social context are probably the most known, but age is another determining aspect that cannot be overlooked since it plays a major role in the deviation from hegemonic masculinity and consequent development of alternative types of masculinities. In youth, men try to hide feelings of vulnerability and weakness. They do not show their emotions and are reluctant to ask for help. They demonstrate their manliness by means of expressions of aggression, strength and the performance of risk taking activities. In the middle age, what defines the sense of masculinity of a man is his productivity in the workplace. Men who are in control, on the…show more content…
10). It is reasonable to accept that masculinity changes as men grow old, but what is not so clear is whether they maintain the hegemonic ideal in old age. There is great controversy surrounding such a thorny issue. On the one hand, some scholars consider that the classification of old men in the group of hegemonic masculinity depends on whether they are compared to younger men or analyzed on their own (Thompson 643). Other academics defend that all men lose their masculine hegemonic status when they grow old (Meadows and Davidson 296). Kampf, Marshall and Petersen also hold the same opinion. They claim that hegemonic masculinity is found in those men whose bodies are svelte, robust and youthful. Therefore, they believe that, “if these embodied qualities of youth are viewed as ‘essentially masculine’ then aging and old age are the negation of that ideal, threatening men as they age with the obvious failure of matching up to such representations of maleness”

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