Double Standard Of Masculinity In Gender Role Socialization .
Masculinity is a topic that has been debated in our society extensively, through research as well as in informal settings. Many wonder what it means to be masculine, and if we can really assign a definition to such a subjective term. After all, shouldn't one's own perception be the determinant of what constitutes masculinity? This self-construction would be the ideal in our society, but unfortunately, it represents a false belief.Masculinity has certain characteristics assigned to it by our culture. In this paper I will explore the many facets of masculinity and demonstrate how certain beliefs pertaining to it are perpetuated in our society. I will also uncover many of the contradictions between society's assigned definition of masculinity and the expectation that males will somehow learn how to act contrary to that assigned and learned meaning. .
Men are primarily and secondarily socialized into believing certain characteristics are definitive in determining their manliness and masculinity. These characteristics range from not crying when they get hurt to being and playing violently. The socialization of masculinity in our society begins as early as the first stages of infancy. A child's burgeoning sense of self or self-concept is a result of the multitude of ideas, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs to which he is exposed (Witt 1997). .
From the outset of a boy's life he is socialized into the belief that he should be 'tough'. Often when boys get hurt, 'scrape their knee', or come whimpering to their mother or father, the fated words, "little boys don't cry," issue forth. Children internalize parental messages regarding gender at an early age, with awareness of adult sex role differences being found in two-year-old children. One study found that children at two and a half years of age use gender stereotypes in negotiating their world and are likely to generalize gender stereotypes to a variety of activities, objects, and occupations (Witt 1997).