Discus how the physical and emotional health of men is shaped by social expectations that men will behave in authorised way autonomous, physical, competitive, and non-emotional

Authors Avatar by kyliebeattie (student)

Discus how the physical and emotional health of men is shaped by social expectations that men will behave in authorised way – autonomous, physical, competitive, and non-emotional. Particular attention should be given to sexuality, and a man's fears of being perceived as gay. Consider the impact on men, their families and their friendships. Analyse the impact that media can have in disseminating gender roles and state whether you feel that this has a positive or negative impact on men.

This essay will examine how society’s expectation of men to behave in an authorised way affects their emotional and physical health while addressing the media’s part in disseminating gender roles. For this purpose I will draw on two components of social learning theory, Gender schema theory; and Labelling theory, to highlight society’s role in maintaining cultural stereotypes for the purpose of control. Drawing together discussions on the role of homophobia as a means of defining hegemonic masculinity and the influence of media and institutions at a macro level on supporting gender role socialisation; leads me to the thesis that instinctive development of masculinity within men has been lost and buried deep beneath societal constructs of masculinity.

Evidence of society’s role in the construction of a gender ideology is seen by the pressure on parents from peer groups, advertising and the media to make choices regarding the child’s clothing, toys and how their rooms are decorated based on their gender (Perry and Bussey, 1984, p.282). Furthermore boys are praised early on for displaying attributes that align with the masculine; competiveness, autonomy, physicality and emotional austerity. This results in the early rejection of the feminine traits associated with the mother and admiration for embodying the masculine traits of the father (Kimmel, 2004, p.185-186).

Gender schema theory explains how the environmental pressures and cognitive development work together to impact gender role development and influence both decisions and behaviours (Berk, 2010, p.276).  Perry and Bussey (1984, p.279) posit that people will retain information that runs parallel to their schemas and disregard that which contrasts to these beliefs. For example a gender schematic child is already viewing the world against a backdrop of gender ideology by making decisions based on his gender rather than on his personal preference (ibid). This represents a serious problem for any developing boy interested in toys that are not associated with their gender. Of particular concern is how they internalise the message that their natural curiosities and desires are somehow wrong or inappropriate.

Join now!

It is possible that parents behaving, reacting and engaging differently to their child based on gender is a manifestation of society’s aim to control and shape perceptions of gender. Parents early on are driven by the fear that their children will not be accepted and that they themselves could experience judgement by not producing a child who conforms to a gender stereotype (Perry and Bussey, 1984, p.282). Boy’s behaviour is already being filtered through a lens of right or wrong based on social pressures and expectations. Research shows that the rejection in boys of attributes that are deemed feminine influences ...

This is a preview of the whole essay