Precarious Manhood

Joseph A. Vandello, Jennifer K. Bosson, Dov Cohen, Rochelle M. Burnaford, Jonathan R. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors report 5 studies that demonstrate that manhood, in contrast to womanhood, is seen as a precarious state requiring continual social proof and validation. Because of this precariousness, they argue that men feel especially threatened by challenges to their masculinity. Certain male-typed behaviors, such as physical aggression, may result from this anxiety. Studies 1-3 document a robust belief in (a) the precarious nature of manhood relative to womanhood and (b) the idea that manhood is defined more by social proof than by biological markers. Study 4 demonstrates that when the precarious nature of manhood is made salient through feedback indicating gender-atypical performance, men experience heightened feelings of threat, whereas similar negative gender feedback has no effect on women. Study 5 suggests that threatening manhood (but not womanhood) activates physically aggressive thoughts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1325-1339
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume95
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

Fingerprint

Masculinity
precariousness
gender
Aggression
masculinity
aggression
Emotions
Anxiety
Biomarkers
threat
anxiety
performance
experience

Keywords

  • aggression
  • gender role threat
  • manhood
  • masculinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Vandello, J. A., Bosson, J. K., Cohen, D., Burnaford, R. M., & Weaver, J. R. (2008). Precarious Manhood. Journal of personality and social psychology, 95(6), 1325-1339. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012453

Precarious Manhood. / Vandello, Joseph A.; Bosson, Jennifer K.; Cohen, Dov; Burnaford, Rochelle M.; Weaver, Jonathan R.

In: Journal of personality and social psychology, Vol. 95, No. 6, 01.12.2008, p. 1325-1339.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vandello, JA, Bosson, JK, Cohen, D, Burnaford, RM & Weaver, JR 2008, 'Precarious Manhood', Journal of personality and social psychology, vol. 95, no. 6, pp. 1325-1339. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012453
Vandello JA, Bosson JK, Cohen D, Burnaford RM, Weaver JR. Precarious Manhood. Journal of personality and social psychology. 2008 Dec 1;95(6):1325-1339. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012453
Vandello, Joseph A. ; Bosson, Jennifer K. ; Cohen, Dov ; Burnaford, Rochelle M. ; Weaver, Jonathan R. / Precarious Manhood. In: Journal of personality and social psychology. 2008 ; Vol. 95, No. 6. pp. 1325-1339.
@article{232230b2ac8344248762e861a3cb1e88,
title = "Precarious Manhood",
abstract = "The authors report 5 studies that demonstrate that manhood, in contrast to womanhood, is seen as a precarious state requiring continual social proof and validation. Because of this precariousness, they argue that men feel especially threatened by challenges to their masculinity. Certain male-typed behaviors, such as physical aggression, may result from this anxiety. Studies 1-3 document a robust belief in (a) the precarious nature of manhood relative to womanhood and (b) the idea that manhood is defined more by social proof than by biological markers. Study 4 demonstrates that when the precarious nature of manhood is made salient through feedback indicating gender-atypical performance, men experience heightened feelings of threat, whereas similar negative gender feedback has no effect on women. Study 5 suggests that threatening manhood (but not womanhood) activates physically aggressive thoughts.",
keywords = "aggression, gender role threat, manhood, masculinity",
author = "Vandello, {Joseph A.} and Bosson, {Jennifer K.} and Dov Cohen and Burnaford, {Rochelle M.} and Weaver, {Jonathan R.}",
year = "2008",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/a0012453",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "95",
pages = "1325--1339",
journal = "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-3514",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Precarious Manhood

AU - Vandello, Joseph A.

AU - Bosson, Jennifer K.

AU - Cohen, Dov

AU - Burnaford, Rochelle M.

AU - Weaver, Jonathan R.

PY - 2008/12/1

Y1 - 2008/12/1

N2 - The authors report 5 studies that demonstrate that manhood, in contrast to womanhood, is seen as a precarious state requiring continual social proof and validation. Because of this precariousness, they argue that men feel especially threatened by challenges to their masculinity. Certain male-typed behaviors, such as physical aggression, may result from this anxiety. Studies 1-3 document a robust belief in (a) the precarious nature of manhood relative to womanhood and (b) the idea that manhood is defined more by social proof than by biological markers. Study 4 demonstrates that when the precarious nature of manhood is made salient through feedback indicating gender-atypical performance, men experience heightened feelings of threat, whereas similar negative gender feedback has no effect on women. Study 5 suggests that threatening manhood (but not womanhood) activates physically aggressive thoughts.

AB - The authors report 5 studies that demonstrate that manhood, in contrast to womanhood, is seen as a precarious state requiring continual social proof and validation. Because of this precariousness, they argue that men feel especially threatened by challenges to their masculinity. Certain male-typed behaviors, such as physical aggression, may result from this anxiety. Studies 1-3 document a robust belief in (a) the precarious nature of manhood relative to womanhood and (b) the idea that manhood is defined more by social proof than by biological markers. Study 4 demonstrates that when the precarious nature of manhood is made salient through feedback indicating gender-atypical performance, men experience heightened feelings of threat, whereas similar negative gender feedback has no effect on women. Study 5 suggests that threatening manhood (but not womanhood) activates physically aggressive thoughts.

KW - aggression

KW - gender role threat

KW - manhood

KW - masculinity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=57949089722&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=57949089722&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0012453

DO - 10.1037/a0012453

M3 - Article

C2 - 19025286

AN - SCOPUS:57949089722

VL - 95

SP - 1325

EP - 1339

JO - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

SN - 0022-3514

IS - 6

ER -