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Today’s Male Essay, Research Paper Introduction: Socialization For the most part, societies (a group of people which have common traditions, interests and institutions) have a large impact on the development of gender. Children grow up to learn from their parents, their neighbor, the baker down the road and it is this understanding of the world which constructs their lives. There is “socialization in general (the learning that neophytes do in order to become functioning members of society), and [there is] gender socialization in particular (the processes through which people learn to be feminine and masculine)” (Mackie, 1987:74). This research paper will deal with men in three fundamental areas of their lives: work, intimate relationships and family. To do this, the

paper will only deal with men who have gone through “socialization in general” and who are in the changing process of “gender socialization”. An infant or child has a crucial need for “experience with other human beings for its survival as a physical being and its development as a social being” (Mackie, 1987:77). In most societies, for the large part, males have grown up learning or expected to be a dominant figure, one with the power and independence (Doyle, 1989:108). In today’s “modern” society, males are not only affected by family, friends or neighbors; they are now heavily influenced by other mediums, such as, TV, music, movies, sports, books (fairy tales), and magazines. These are but a few influences which help shape the modern male. Men in the

Workplace: Work occupies on average 40 hours a week, it therefore plays a considerably large role in peoples’ lives. The Feminist movement showed, along with other issues, that it was the environment and structure of the workplace, which affected society a great deal. The Feminist movement highlighted the harsh reality of gender inequality in our society. Consequently, there seems to be an overwhelming consensus that males dominate, and have always dominated in the workplace. The reason for this unbalanced structure, as James Doyle suggests, seems to have validity when one looks at male’s extreme sense of competitiveness. “Competition and winning are considered masculine characteristics in our society” (Doyle, 1989:168). However, competition allows for only one winner.

This “competitive spirit forces men to think that everything of value and worth in the world is limited or comes in fixed quantities” (Doyle, 1989:169). If men grow up learning that competition and independence (as mentioned earlier) is masculine, then having a job and providing, validates men. Men will compete at all costs to provide the best for his family. “Being a good provider stipulates that the more goods a male provides for his family’s material well-being, the more successful (that is, masculine) he is” (Doyle, 1989:173). Perhaps males assertion of masculinity through their job is a defense, “a way of insisting on the exclusion of women to protect specific jobs and more general job skills from increased competition (women)” (Nelson & Robinson,

1995:183). Men not only have to compete with other males, but now have to compete with women at the workplace, this in turn applies tremendous pressure on today’s male. Because of this pressure, politics, sexuality, family responsibilities, and intimate relationships between the two genders have become more tenuous. Males in Intimate Relationships: Men do not want to “lose” at their job and they bring this mentality into their intimate relationships. This makes men less likely to express their feelings; he would be weak or unmanly if he did so. If men view themselves as independent, then “he is less practised at recognizing others’, and consequently his own emotions” (Buchbinder, 1987:55). “For many men, sex focuses these feelings and becomes the only manner of