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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 shouldnt ones 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 societys assigned definition of masculinity and the expectation that males will somehow learn how to act contrary to that assigned and learned meaningDefinition of Masculinity 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 childs 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 Later in this paper the question of whether there are genetic factors will be discussed However to further my argument at this point I will discuss masculinity as it is socially defined From the outset of a boys 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 dont 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
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