MEN AND THE LIFE CYCLE
DIVERSITY AND COMPLEXITY
- This chapter highlights the diversity and complexity of men’s development, focusing on how the intersectionality of multiple forces, including sexual orientation, culture, race, nationality, class and caste, resource availability, faith, spirituality and religion, physical and mental abilities, geographic location, immigration status and more, contribute to the textured meaning of gender and our notions of what it means to be
- Patriarchy affords men more social power and privilege than women, although it also limits and blocks men from developing their full humanness, including sharing vulnerabilities and nurturing connections.
- Patriarchy gives all men gendered power, but men’s power also differs based on their location in terms of race, class, sexual orientation, immigration status, health,
- Patriarchal definitions of manhood equate being a “real man” to economic prowess and not showing vulnerability or expressing emotions, other than This view limits male development by requiring males to deny essential aspects of their humanness.
- Boys are socialized to be tough and in control by being assertive or aggressive and by not backing down, making mistakes, or showing
- Boys and men are taught a “power over” paradigm that encourages power over women and other men, especially based on factors like race, class, sexual identity,
- Boys are more likely than girls to be labeled with learning disorders, conduct disorders, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders, especially if they are minorities and/or are
- Between the ages of 16-24 men receive intensive pressure to adhere to traditional markers of manhood – such as heading the household and being the “breadwinner” – which are roles that in contemporary times, are harder to define and assert making the “transition into adulthood” an uncertain destination for young
- Researchers such as Carol Gilligan and Daniel Goleman emphasize that responsiveness in relationships and emotional intelligence are critical components of mental
- As women have more opportunities for self-development they are less dependent on men in heterosexual relationships, which creates adaptive challenges difficult for men in long- term
- The rules of the male script make it difficult for men to express emotional vulnerability and to seek or offer emotional nurturance in friendships, thereby contributing to
- Men live longer now than at any other time in history, although life expectancy tends to be abbreviated by racial and class oppression, and also by factors such as alcoholism, unhappy marriages, and lack of meaningful
Identify Issues Intervention and Practice Ethics and Legality
Introduction Men: A View of Their Relationships Across Generations A Motivational Story with Wisdom – The Wooden Bowl (Unknown Author) Men in Multiple, Mutual Relationships Across the LifespanThe Intersection of Gender and Other Social Complexities: Gender As a Significant Matter An Understanding of Intersectionality and Male PowerChildhood Jamal and His Mother’s Expectations AdolescenceYoung Adulthood Eduardo: “Taking It” or “Teaching It” Men as Partners and HusbandsDave and Molly: Dating in the Computer Age FatherhoodMen at Midlife Henry: An Examination of Mid-Life Accomplishments Men as Friends with Other Men, Women, and Friendship Networks Men, Work, and Family HealthElders and Older Age The Case of Neal: Coming Out and Going Home Conclusion and Areas of Future Focus
SUGGESTED IN CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- In what ways do you think traditional gender role expectations both hurt and help boys and men within the context of their families and intimate relationships?
- How does racism shape the ways boys and men negotiate and define their gender identity?
- How does patriarchy contribute to and reinforce homophobia and heterosexism?
- What are some of the potential advantages and disadvantages of raising boys to have flexible ideas about how to define and express their masculinity?
- Do you think parents should have different rules and expectations for boys and girls? If yes, what differences do you think are most important and why? And if no, please explain why not.
- There are some who would argue that for men to have more intimate relationships with women, they need to develop greater intimacy with other men. What do you think this greater intimacy with other men would look like, and how and in what way would this enhance intimacy between men and women?
KEY TERMS, CONCEPTS OR PEOPLE
Gender Role Discrepancy Strain PatriarchyIntersectionality Code of Masculinity; Boy Code; Wounded Father Within Valliant’s Six Stages of Adult Male Development Amorphous UncertaintyRonald Levant, Micahel Kimmel, George Valliant,
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXPERIENCES or PRACTICE APPLICATIONS
- Imagine you are working with a male client in his early fifties who came to therapy because he is struggling with depression. During therapy you realize he has a hard time acknowledging and expressing his feelings, he has no intimate male friendships, and feels distant from his wife of 15 years. What kinds of questions might you want to ask him to better assess the nature of his depression and how his gender identity and socialization are connected? Also what kinds of things might you talk to him about and suggest to him as a way of helping him address his depression in a gender-informed way?
- Interview your father about his relationship with his father, including the messages he received (overtly or covertly) from his father about what it means to be a man/partner/father/son, and how much and in what ways his father approved or disapproved of him. Write an essay where you report what you learned from your interview and explore the implications of how your father raised you and what he taught you about gender. If your father is deceased or is otherwise impossible to contact, interview those who knew him (his siblings, your mother, his aunts, uncles, or cousins) to try and gain insights and answers to these
Please pick the one best possible answer from the choices below.
- The chapter referred to a body of early research on men’s life cycle which is:
- The Seasons of a Man’s Life by Valliant
- Adaptation to Life by Levinson
- The Myth of Masculinity by Pleck
- The Eight Stages of Man by Gilligan
- To most fully understand men’s lives it is critical to recognize the:
- similarities that unite all
- way that men’s lives are far too diverse to be subjected to any one developmental
- diversity, complexity, and variability that define men’s
- similarities and differences that shape men’s
- The story of The Wooden Bowl was presented in this chapter to emphasize:
- the impact on a man who was once healthy and productive and now needs caretaking and has to take on a different role in the family as he
- how boys will not develop empathy at a young age if they fail to see it modeled by their parents.
- the revered and respected place that elderly family members have within traditional, collectivist
- how elderly men who are widowed often struggle much more emotionally than elderly women who become
- In his later years, Bergman, psychiatrist trained in the theories of Freud, Erikson, Kernberg, Kohut and Mahler, explained that he was:
- less interested in the biology of gender, internal objects, and narcissistic mirrorings, and more focused on the healing power of mutual relationship, with men and women
- amazed by just how gender biased these early theories really
- less interested in trying to understand male development and more focused on trying to understand female development as a foundation for health for both men and
- increasingly interested in understanding the science and biology of gender to better discern what aspects of development are nature versus those that are
- The concept of intersectionality refers to:
- a person who is born with both male and female
- the convergence of multiple social forces that shape male identity in
- the process of developing a gender identity that blends and balances both masculine and feminine traits.
- the interaction between traditional and feminist constructions of
- Feminist critiques of family and couples therapy have suggested that:
- gender plays out in clients’ problem and behaviors, how therapists construct problems, and how they practice
- therapists need to assume a stance of therapeutic neutrality in opposition to the patriarchal bias that is implicitly woven into therapy theories and
- approaches to therapy need to more directly encourage women stop seeing themselves as constrained by traditional
- therapists need to help men be more “female-like.”
- When working with men in therapy, therapists must attend to power issues in terms of:
- how men of color are less likely to assert patriarchal power and privilege over female partners because they understand what it means to be oppressed on the basis of
- how patriarchy defines manhood by economic process and therefore, poor and working class men do not have access to patriarchal power and
- how all men benefit from unearned privileges bestowed upon them via
- how female therapists may be less effective with male clients because they have less social power than men in social
- The “wounded father within” syndrome occurs when:
- boys are raised primarily by mothers and are deprived of having a meaningful relationship with their
- boys learn to reject masculine ideals as embodied by their
- there is a psychological injury that boys incur by virtue of having to act like the man of the household in response to pressures, direct or indirect, from their
- there is an enactment of loss, injury or even a severing of the mother-son bond for the sake of connecting with masculine
- The reactions boys have to being called names that label them as gay or too much like a girl:
- is typically anger and attack which is healthy because it protects boys from the shame of feeling like they are failing to be appropriately
- illustrates how gender, sexism, homophobia, and heterosexism interact to reinforce patriarchal
- tend to be more severe among boys who do not have strong father role
- are less severe among boys who really are gay versus those who are
- School experiences for boys tend to be:
- challenging because they have greater needs for large-muscle activity, which has become an even greater challenge in schools with reduced recess
- rewarding because sexism affords them subtle advantages that helps them to read and write more quickly than
- challenging for boys of color because racial oppression makes it harder for them to “act tough” and as a result, they are more prone to being
- rewarding for boys of color because their experiences with racism make them tougher than white boys and this helps them win approval on gender
- The fact that adolescent boys are more likely to be diagnosed with conduct and ADHD than girls points to:
- the pressure that boys experience to be “like a ”
- the power that biology plays in shaping
- the ways that we are harder on boys and more likely to punish and patholgize them for exhibiting any
- the need for teachers and parents to spend more time with boys helping them to channel aggressive energy
- The gender intensification that occurs during early adulthood places many men at risk of:
- certain amorphousness
- uncertain ambiguity
- ambiguous uncertainty
- amorphous uncertainty
- Gay men, in comparison to straight men tend to be:
- more committed to
- approach fatherhood in ways are strikingly similar to how straight men approach fatherhood.
- more gender flexible in their approach to
- more gender rigid in their approaches to fatherhood
- By mid-life, men’s family relationships and friendships take on an especially important role although:
- men from collectivist cultures are much more likely to cultivate meaningful friendships with other
- the male script tends to make it hard for men to achieve meaningful intimacy in their
- for men who are happily partnered, there is less of a need for intimate male friendships
- men have more satisfying friendships if they are based on companionship versus emotional
- Men are living longer than ever before however:
- men tend to live longer than
- men of color and/or poor men have shorter life expectancies than white men and/or economically privileged
- gay men are less likely to age positively because they are not allowed to marry and studies show that married men, especially happily married men, age more
- men who do not have a secure retirement income are more prone to