An extract on #masculine
Traits traditionally cited as masculine include courage, independence and assertiveness. These traits vary by location and context, and are influenced by social and cultural factors. An overemphasis on masculinity and power, often associated with a disregard for consequences and responsibility, is known as machismo.
Masculine qualities, characteristics or roles are considered typical of, or appropriate for, a boy or man. They have degrees of comparison: "more masculine" and "most masculine", and the opposite may be expressed by "unmanly" or "epicene". Similar to masculinity is virility (from the Latin vir, "man"). The concept of masculinity varies historically and culturally; although the dandy was seen as a 19th-century ideal of masculinity, he is considered effeminate by modern standards. Masculine norms, as described in Ronald F. Levant's Masculinity Reconstructed, are "avoidance of femininity; restricted emotions; sex disconnected from intimacy; pursuit of achievement and status; self-reliance; strength and aggression, and homophobia." These norms reinforce gender roles by associating attributes and characteristics with one gender.
The academic study of masculinity received increased attention during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the number of courses on the subject in the United States rising from 30 to over 300. This has sparked investigation of the intersection of masculinity with other axes of social discrimination and concepts from other fields, such as the social construction of gender difference (prevalent in a number of philosophical and sociological theories).
In many cultures, displaying characteristics not typical of one's gender may be a social problem. In sociology, this labeling is known as gender assumptions and is part of socialization to meet the mores of a society. Non-standard behavior may be considered indicative of homosexuality, despite the fact that gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation are widely accepted as distinct concepts. When sexuality is defined in terms of object choice (as in early sexology studies), male homosexuality is interpreted as effeminacy. Social disapproval of excessive masculinity may be expressed as "machismo" or by neologisms such as "testosterone poisoning".
The relative importance of socialization and genetics in the development of masculinity is debated. Although social conditioning is believed to play a role, psychologists and psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung believed that aspects of "feminine" and "masculine" identity are subconsciously present in all human males.
The historical development of gender roles is addressed by behavioural genetics, evolutionary psychology, human ecology, anthropology and sociology. All human cultures seem to encourage gender roles in literature, costume and song; examples may include the epics of Homer, the Hengist and Horsa tales and the normative commentaries of Confucius. More specialized treatments of masculinity may be found in the Bhagavad Gita and the bushid of Hagakure.