American Masculinity in the Face of Change
Published by: Stanford University Press
256 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm
- ISBN: 9781503629899
- Published: November 2021
Against all evidence to the contrary, American men have come to believe that the world is tilted – economically, socially, politically – against them. A majority of men across the political spectrum feel that they face some amount of discrimination because of their sex. The authors of Gender Threat look at what reasoning lies behind their belief and how they respond to it. Many feel that there is a limited set of socially accepted ways for men to express their gender identity, and when circumstances make it difficult or impossible for them to do so, they search for another outlet to compensate. Sometimes these behaviors are socially positive, such as placing a greater emphasis on fatherhood, but other times they can be maladaptive, as in the case of increased sexual harassment at work. These trends have emerged, notably, since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Drawing on multiple data sources, the authors find that the specter of threats to their gender identity has important implications for men's behavior. Importantly, younger men are more likely to turn to nontraditional compensatory behaviors, such as increased involvement in cooking, parenting, and community leadership, suggesting that the conception of masculinity is likely to change in the decades to come.