From Hegemonic to Responsive Masculinity: The Transformative Power of the Provider Role

  • Belinda BrownEmail author


This article proposes that ‘responsive’ masculinity provides a more accurate description of male behaviour than ‘hegemonic’ masculinity. This becomes apparent if we look at the provider role which can be seen as an expression of male responsiveness to female ‘need’. It is suggested that male responsiveness is an evolved trait. It is manifested in the higher levels of empathy which males have for females which are partly stimulated by greater female emotional expressivity. The provider role facilitates reproduction by encouraging males to engage in provisioning activities in response to female preferences. Once men reproduce the provisioning role acts to tie them into families, encourage attachment through the experience of having others dependent on them and kickstarts neuroendocrine responses through pairbonding and fatherhood. As an expression of male responsive behaviour and a catalyst for further nurturing behaviour, the provider role is seen as the cornerstone on which fathering is built.


Evolutionary psychology Responsive masculinity Provider role 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ResearcherLondonUK

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