SS_260_Unit2essay

SS_260_Unit2essay - Boys Fighting Masculinity 1 Running...

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Boys Fighting Masculinity 1 Running head: BOYS FIGHTING MASCULINITY Boys Fighting Masculinity Kaplan University SS-260 Gender and Society Instructor: Pearlie M. Jones, PhD
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Boys Fighting Masculinity 2 Boys Fighting Masculinity 1Large-scale school violence in U.S. schools receives an abundance of media and academic attention. These events show a complete disregard for human life and are shocking to the public. Event’s such as these has me believing that there is a crisis in masculinity. School shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech still raise emotions in people who had no direct connection to the tragedies. While shootings are attractive problems to tackle because they are instant, easy to see the results, and have vast political support, they are rare in occurrence and are a result of a larger societal problem. Young boys and men are the main perpetrators of school violence and delinquent activity. These activities, particularly those that appear small and normal, can be extremely detrimental to the development of a child and a school’s environment. Social standards and stereotypes have allowed these type of activities to continue until it is too late. A change in the societal norms of masculinity would aid in healthy male development and improve safety within schools. “Masculinity” is a socially constructed concept that defines, although it does not have to, what being a man is, just as femininity defines a woman. While it is easy to say that one has not been affected by this dichotomy, it is inescapable. Society’s definition of masculinity is an inseparable part of how men view themselves and the world around them. Society and its educational institutions re-enforce this ambiguous thing called “masculinity” that focuses around violence and power. These standards “diminish boys genuine emotional voices . . . too many boys self-critically judge themselves and are judged as immature, undeveloped, or deficient in intellectual-emotional skills and as failing the impossible test of masculinity (Pollack, 2004, p. 190). Given the emphasis
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Boys Fighting Masculinity 3 placed on masculinity, to have one’s manhood be questioned or scrutinized can be devastating, if not dehumanizing. This leaves boys who do not fall into traditional stereotypes searching for recognition in a world where masculine reactions are the only means to seek acceptance and cope with anger. Society must remain responsible for the culture and expectations that have lead to rampant bullying and high levels of violence. Students, who are boys, do not define masculinity for themselves, but learn from what they observe. The current cultural norms of “what is” masculinity root itself in violence, egotism, and invulnerability. In such a society, compromise, mediation, and dialogue are seen as modalities
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This note was uploaded on 09/25/2010 for the course SS SS260 taught by Professor Pearliejones during the Spring '10 term at Kaplan University.

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SS_260_Unit2essay - Boys Fighting Masculinity 1 Running...

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