When discussions of gender occur, rarely are men talked about as a gender category. Man is an invisible gender, but it is something that is policed tightly. Being a man is not talked about, but there are things a proper man does and does not do—this reflects the hegemonic masculinity, or the dominant ideal of masculinity men need to enact to secure privilege (Connell, 2005). The hegemonic masculinity produces inequality by favoring heterosexual white men, and devaluing all others. This manifests in a variety of ways, including but not limited to the attention boys receive in the classroom (more than their female peers) and the fact that men are still paid more than women (Williams, Paluck, &Specer-Rodgers, 2010; Einarsson & Granström, 2002). The present study aims to explore how young men currently construct their masculinity. Four Caucasian undergraduate students were interviewed and asked to create short narratives for Caucasian men in photographs. Each of the men in the pictures either endorsed an aspect of the hegemonic masculinity or failed to meet an ideal. If participants created a more desirable narrative for the hegemonic men, then it could be suggested that the hegemonic masculinity is still the dominant ideal. Participants were also asked what they think it means to be a man. Some evidence was accumulated that current conceptions of masculinity may be more flexible than the current hegemony would allow, but further research with a larger sample would be needed to confirm this.
Davenport, Chris, "Current Construals of Masculinity: An Exploratory Study" (2014). Honors Projects. 354.