male_gender_role - Boys Perceptions of the Male Role:...

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Boys’ Perceptions of the Male Role: Understanding Gender Role Conflict in Adolescent Males R ANDOLPH H. W ATTS , J R ., and L. D I A NNE B ORDERS The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Adolescent males are at risk for a number of academic, social, and emotional problems. Existing research provides evidence that a number of these problems are related to conflicts experienced by adolescent males through the gender socialization process, called gender role conflict. Whereas there is ample empirical literature on gender role conflict in adult males, few researchers have inves- tigated this hypothesized conflict in adolescent males. This study, involving small interview groups of adolescent males, was designed to examine the validity of the gender role construct for adolescent males. Keywords: adolescent males, gender role conflict, male role T he well-being of adolescent boys has been a topic of growing concern over the past 15 or so years (Beymer, 1995; Horne & Kiselica, 1999; Osherson, 1986). Researchers have observed that adolescent males are at risk for academic, social, and emotional problems in a number of areas. Adolescent males are more likely than ado- lescent females to drop out of school, be referred in school for disciplinary action, receive lower grades, fail a grade in school, not graduate from high school, and not continue on to college (Coley, 2001; U.S. Department of Education, 1996). They are diagnosed with mental retardation, attention disorders, dyslexia, stuttering, and delayed speech more frequently than are adolescent girls (Halpern, 1997). In addi- tion, adolescent males are more likely than adolescent females to commit suicide, be threatened or injured with a weapon at school, be in a physical fight, die from homi- cide, and commit a violent crime (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2002; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002). 267 Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to Randolph H. Watts, Jr., Good Counsel High School, 11601 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902. Electronic mail: rhwatts@comcast.net. The Journal of Men’s Studies , Vol. 13, No. 2, Winter 2005, 267-280. © 2005 by the Men’s Studies Press, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Researchers investigating these academic, social, and emotional problems in adolescent and college-aged samples of men have reported a relationship between the presence of some of these problems and higher levels of gender role conflict (e.g., Blazina, 1997, 2001; Fagot, Rodgers, & Leinbach, 2000; Holmes, 1995). Gender role conflict is defined as the psychological state in which socialized gender roles have negative consequences on the person or others; gender - role conflict occurs when rigid, sexist, or restrictive gender roles result in personal restriction, devaluation, or violation of others or self (O’Neil, Helms, Gable, David, & Wrightsman, 1986). O’Neil and his colleagues (1986) identified four gender role conflict patterns
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male_gender_role - Boys Perceptions of the Male Role:...

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