Men and Role Conflict

The term gender role refers to a set of behavioral and socially accepted norms that are deemed socially befitting for the individuals of a specific gender as accepted in the culture the individual is in. These behaviors and norms vary greatly between cultures. Issues within the realm of masculinity and the psychology of men are very important contributing factors to the development of boys and men and can affect them for their entire lives. These areas are issues of sexual orientation or multiculturalism, as well as violence in society, falling behind in school, health issues and fathering. Any one of these items can have a great impact on the way young men view themselves and the role they play in society.

There are many distinguishing patterns of negative results that can arise for men during their experiencing of gender role anxiety. These patterns are known as gender role conflict and these conflicts are quite common. For example, many men contain and constrict their emotions; they do not show or exhibit any emotion. This type of behavior carries with it advantages and disadvantages. The positive aspect is the ability to remain calm and cool during a crisis situation. The negative aspect is that it is difficult for such a person to connect emotionally in a relationship. The man can experience gender role anxiety when he has to communicate, express and articulate his inner feelings in a relationship and the subsequent detachment and loneliness that follows is referred to as gender role conflict.

There are various types of gender role conflicts. One type is within the man himself. This results from experiences of private negative thoughts and emotions that the person experiences as gender role restrictions, violations and devaluations. It is a feeling of low self esteem that occurrs due to gender role conflict.

There is gender role conflict that is expressed toward others. This occurs when the man's articulated and obvious gender role problems can possibly restrict, violate or devalue somebody else. Due to the man's gender role conflict these problems can potentially harm another person.

There is gender role conflict that can be experienced from others. This occurs from man's interpersonal involvement with others which results in being personally restricted, violated or devalued. A relationship with another person with gender role conflict can be the cause of harm to oneself.

Gender role conflict can be experienced when role transition occurs. Gender role transitions are occurrences or circumstances in a man's gender development. This may cause a change and challenge to his gender role assumptions that can cause gender role conflict.

Gender role devaluation is generally negative analysis of oneself when departing from, or conforming to, stereotypical gender role norms and acceptable definitions of masculinity. The result of devaluation is the lowering of stature and personal status.

Gender role restrictions generally occur when one confines oneself to the stereotypical definition and norms of masculinity and cannot behave as freely as he desires. Restrictions result in the limiting of one's capabilities, lessening one's freedom and controlling other people's behavior.

Gender role violations occur as a result of either harming others or harming oneself or being harmed by others while trying to depart from or adapting to the gender role norms of accepted masculine culture. When one is violated, one is either physically or psychologically abused.

It is believed that gender role conflict is often linked to much greater psychological problems such as anxiety, low self esteem, depression, problems in relationships, violence and many other psychological problems. There are two possible remedies to help minimize or reduce the negative effects of gender role conflict. This can be accomplished by recognizing and admitting the problem and by becoming more adaptable and flexible with behavior and attitudes by learning to change and adapt. Referring to the example mentioned earlier of the man in a relationship, he may not be able to emotionally express himself well; however, if he tried hard enough and learned to change his ways he could learn how to express himself. In the long run it will be beneficial to himself and to others.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Role Conflict: Not Only for Women? A Comparative Analysis of 5 Nations
Moore, Dahlia.
International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Vol. 36, No. 1-2, June 1995
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Saint John's Experience Project: Challenging Men's Perceptions of Normative Gender Role Conflict
Beatty, Adam; Syzdek, Matthew; Bakkum, Alex.
The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, Fall 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gender Role Conflict and the Disidentification Process: Two Case Studies on Fragile Masculine Self
Blazina, Christopher.
The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, Winter 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gender Roles: A Handbook of Tests and Measures
Carole A. Beere.
Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Multiple Roles"
Boys' Perceptions of the Male Role: Understanding Gender Role Conflict in Adolescent Males
Watts, Randolph H., Jr.; Borders, L. Diane.
The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2, Winter 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gender-Role-Conflicted Men's Poor Parental Attachment and Separation/Individuation Difficulties: Knights without Armor in a Savage Land
Blazina, Christopher.
The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, Winter 2001
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Fear of the Feminine in the Western Psyche and the Masculine Task of Disidentification: Their Effect on the Development of Masculine Gender Role Conflict
Blazina, Chris.
The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, Fall 1997
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gender Differences in Perceived Role Conflict among University Student-Athletes
Lance, Larry M.
College Student Journal, Vol. 38, No. 2, June 2004
African American Men, Gender Role Conflict, and Psychological Distress: The Role of Racial Identity
Wester, Stephen R.; Vogel, David L.; Wei, Meifen; McLain, Rodney.
Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, Vol. 84, No. 4, Fall 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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