Gender equality

Essay by sam90 April 2006

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Tyrone Cloyd Baltimore, MD Gender equality has been a social concern since man step foot on earth. When we think of gender equality discrimination against women is what comes to mind, but in recent years psychologist and sociologist have began to study how men are discriminated against. It is considered general knowledge that men still make more money a year then women, and it is true that men hold most of the position of power in society. Recent studies have concluded that there is an aspect of society that discriminates against men. This aspect of society is deeply rooted in the American culture, and it is hard to name, to discuses, and to study. Gender roles for men, then are viewed not as biological givens, but as social constructions created from the expectations of social forces such as parents, teachers, peers, and the media about what constitute masculinity {(Pleck, 1995) Mahalik 1998}.

Men are socialized to believe in the importance of success, power, and competitiveness. Because the male socialization experience is theorized to create negative feelings such as anxiety and shame related to all things feminine, the development of rigid traditional male roles, or male gender role conflict {(O'Neil, Helms, Gable, David, & Wrightsman, 1986) Mahalik 1998}.

Looking at male emotional socialization from the framework of the gender role strain paradigm, many boys are required to block their feelings and restrict the expression of their vulnerable and caring emotions {(Levant) Mahalik 1998}. Because of this, "a man experiences any particular facet of self that he considers feminine with great conflict and anxiety, because he believes it threatens his manhood" (Mahalik, Cournoyer, Defranc, Cherry, and Napolitano 1998). As a result of this fear of femininity, men are believed to over conform to traditional male roles as a coping strategy to avoid...