The Crisis In Masculinity: Social Change and Gender

Dr. Richard D. Christy
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In Canada in the 1980's the federal government appointed a Royal Commission on the Status of Women. At that time I asked the head of the Commission if she ever thought there would be a need for a Royal Commission on the Status of Men.

She quickly replied, "What For?" It is time to answer that question and to explore the impact of the gender debate on the behaviour of men and the social definition of masculinity. Some would argue that little has changed for women, but I would argue that a great deal has changed for men. Men have had to rethink and adjust to changing social expectations. For many men these changes are at best confusing and at worse deadly. No longer can a man assume that while he has been born male he will necessarily become an acceptable man. Why has it become so difficult for men to understand the social "self" when faced with a complex social construct of masculinity?

Keywords: Gender debate, Men and masculinity, Social expectations, Social self, Social construct
Stream: Sexuality, Gender, Families
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Crisis In Masculinity, The

Dr. Richard D. Christy

Department of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University

Former Mayor of the City of Kitchener, Former Alderman the City of Kitchener, Former Councillor of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, member of Board of the Centre in the Square, married for thirty-six years, three daughters.

Ref: H05P0435