Sex Roles

, Volume 50, Issue 1–2, pp 15–26 | Cite as

Thirty Years After the Discovery of Gender: Psychological Concepts and Measures of Masculinity

  • Andrew P. Smiler


Study of the construct of masculinity has undergone substantial change since the feminist critique of gender in the 1960–70s. This review focuses on constancies and changes within empirical psychological theories and measurement because measures represent masculinity and their underlying assumptions are often obscured. After a brief historical introduction, 5 distinct movements are identified by their assumptions. These movements discuss masculinity as a unipolar construct, an ideology, a source of strain, a socially constructed entity, and, most recently, as a blend of these different movements. The lack of developmental accounts of masculinity and the positioning of masculinity as an acontextual, superordinate organizing element of individual lives are also addressed. Concluding comments address the lack of influence by masculinity researchers on broader psychological thought.

masculinity critique measurement gender history 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew P. Smiler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New HampshireDurham

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