Advertisement

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

  • Belinda BrownEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Evolutionary psychology Responsive masculinity Provider role 

References

  1. Barletta, M. (2003). Marketing to women: How to understand, reach, and increase your share of the world’s largest market segment. Dearborn Trade Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Belsky, J., Gilstrap, B., & Rovine, M. (1984). The Pennsylvania Infant and Family Development Project, I: Stability and change in mother-infant and father-infant interaction in a family setting at one, three, and nine months. Child Development, 692–705.Google Scholar
  3. Bernard, J. (1981). The good-provider role: Its rise and fall. American Psychologist, 36(1), 1.Google Scholar
  4. Bernhardt, E. M., & Goldscheider, F. K. (2001). Men, resources, and family living: The determinants of union and parental status in the United States and Sweden. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(3), 793–803.Google Scholar
  5. Bernhardt, E., & Goldscheider, F. (2006). Gender equality, parenthood attitudes, and first births in Sweden. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 4, 19–39. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23025476.
  6. Bryan, D. M. (2013). To parent or provide? The effect of the provider role on low-income men’s decisions about fatherhood and paternal engagement. Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers, 11(1), 71–89.Google Scholar
  7. Bryant, B. K. (1982). An index of empathy for children and adolescents. Child Development, 53, 413–425.Google Scholar
  8. Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12(1), 1–14.Google Scholar
  9. Buss, D. M., Shackelford, T. K., Kirkpatrick, L. A., & Larsen, R. J. (2001). A half century of mate preferences: The cultural evolution of values. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(2), 491–503.Google Scholar
  10. Cazenave, N. (1979). Middle-income Black fathers: An analysis of the provider role. The Family Coordinator, 28(4), 583–593. Google Scholar
  11. Charles, K. K., & Stephens, M., Jr. (2004). Job displacement, disability, and divorce. Journal of Labor Economics, 22(2), 489–522.Google Scholar
  12. Connell, R. W. (1995). Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity. Google Scholar
  13. Darwin, C. (1888). The descent of man and selection in relation to sex (vol. 1). Murray.Google Scholar
  14. De Henau, J., & Himmelweit, S. (2013). Unpacking within-household gender differences in partners’ subjective benefits from household income. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75(3), 611–624.Google Scholar
  15. de Linde Leonard, M., & Stanley, T. D. (2015). Married with children: What remains when observable biases are removed from the reported male marriage wage premium. Labour Economics, 33, 72–80.Google Scholar
  16. Dench, G. (2011). The place of men: Changing family culture in Britain. London: The Hera Trust.Google Scholar
  17. Dench, G. (2017). What women want: Evidence from British Social Attitudes. New York and Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Dwyer, P. D., & Minnegal, M. (1993). Are kubo hunters ‘show offs’? Evolution and Human Behavior, 14(1), 53–70.Google Scholar
  19. Ellis, L. (2011). Identifying and explaining apparent universal sex differences in cognition and behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 51(5), 552–561.Google Scholar
  20. Endresen, I. M., & Olweus, D. (2001). Self-reported empathy in Norwegian adolescents: Sex differences, age trends, and relationship to bullying. In A. C. Bohart & D. J. Stipek (Eds.), Constructive & destructive behavior: Implications for family, school, & society (pp. 147–165). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  21. Fabes, R. A., Eisenberg, N., Karbon, M., Troyer, D., & Switzer, G. (1994). The relations of children’s emotion regulation to their vicarious emotional responses and comforting behaviors. Child Development, 65(6), 1678–1693.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Farrell, W., & Gray, J. (2018). The boy crisis: Why our boys are struggling and what we can do about it. Dallas, TX: Benbella.Google Scholar
  23. FeldmanHall, O., Dalgleish, T., Evans, D., Navrady, L., Tedeschi, E., & Mobbs, D. (2016). Moral chivalry: Gender and harm sensitivity predict costly altruism. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7(6), 542–551.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Fessler, D. M. (2010). Madmen: An evolutionary perspective on anger and men’s violent responses to transgression. In International handbook of anger (pp. 361–381). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  25. Finkel, E. J., & Eastwick, P. W. (2015). Attachment and pairbonding. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 7–11.Google Scholar
  26. Geary, D. C. (1998). Male, female: The evolution of human sex differences. American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  27. Geary, D. C. (2000). Evolution and proximate expression of human paternal investment. Psychological Bulletin, 126(1), 55.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Gettler, L. T., McDade, T. W., Feranil, A. B., & Kuzawa, C. W. (2011). Longitudinal evidence that fatherhood decreases testosterone in human males. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201105403.Google Scholar
  29. Gray, P. B., & Anderson, K. G. (2010). Fatherhood: Evolution and human paternal behavior. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Gunelius, S. (2010). Women making economic strides and not slowing down. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2010/07/28/women-making-economic-strides-and-not-slowing-down/#3b3734f22750. Last accessed 27 August 2018.
  31. HM Revenue and Customs. (2016). UK Income Tax Liabilities Statistics 2013–14 Survey of Personal Incomes, with projections to 2016–17 Includes Tables 2.1 to 2.7.Google Scholar
  32. Hofferth, S. L., & Goldscheider, F. (2010). Does change in young men’s employment influence fathering? Family Relations, 59(4), 479–493.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Hrdy, S. B. (1999). Mother nature: A history of mothers, infants, and natural selection. London: Chatto & Windus.Google Scholar
  34. Jalovaara, M. (2013). Socioeconomic resources and the dissolution of cohabitations and marriages. European Journal of Population [Revue Européenne de Démographie], 29(2), 167–193.Google Scholar
  35. Kanji, S., & Schober, P. (2014). Are couples with young children more likely to split up when the mother is the main or an equal earner? Sociology, 48(1), 38–58.Google Scholar
  36. Ketterson, E. D., & Nolan, V., Jr. (1999). Adaptation, exaptation, and constraint: A hormonal perspective. The American Naturalist, 154(S1), S4–S25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Killewald, A. (2013). A reconsideration of the fatherhood premium. American Sociological Review, 78(1), 96–116.Google Scholar
  38. Killewald, A., & Gough, M. (2013). Does specialization explain marriage penalties and premiums? American Sociological Review, 78(3), 477–502.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Kimmel, M. (2017). Angry white men: American masculinity at the end of an era (p. xiv). UK: Hachette.Google Scholar
  40. Kimmel, M., & Wade, L. (2018). Ask a Feminist: Michael Kimmel and Lisa Wade Discuss Toxic Masculinity. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 44(1), 233–254.Google Scholar
  41. Kring, A. M., & Gordon, A. H. (1998). Sex differences in emotion: Expression, experience, and physiology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(3), 686.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Lamb, M. E., Frodi, A. M., Hwang, C. P., & Frodi, M. (1982). Varying degrees of paternal involvement in infant care: Attitudinal and behavioral correlates. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), Nontraditional families: Parenting and child development (pp. 117–137). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  43. Lennon, R., & Eisenberg, N. (1987). Gender and age differences in empathy and sympathy. In N. Eisenberg & J. Strayer (Eds.), Empathy and its development (pp. 195–217). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Lerman, R. I., & Wilcox, W. B. (2014). For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.Google Scholar
  45. Levant, R. F. (1996). The new psychology of men. Professional psychology: Research and practice, 27(3), 259.Google Scholar
  46. Lieberman, D. (2014). The story of the human body: Evolution, health, and disease. Penguin.Google Scholar
  47. Marlowe, F. (2000). Paternal investment and the human mating system. Behavioural Processes, 51(1–3), 45–61.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Marlowe, F. (2001). Male contribution to diet and female reproductive success among foragers. Current Anthropology, 42(5), 755–759.Google Scholar
  49. Matsumoto, D. (2009). The origin of universal human emotions. San Francisco: San Francisco State University.Google Scholar
  50. Mincy, R. B., Grossbard, S., & Huang, C. C. (2005, June). An economic analysis of co-parenting choices: Single parent, visiting father, cohabitation, marriage. European Society for Population Economics. Paris.Google Scholar
  51. Norman, H., & Elliot, M. (2015). Measuring paternal involvement in childcare and housework. Sociological Research Online, 20(2), 1–18.Google Scholar
  52. Oliffe, J. L., Han, C. S., Ogrodniczuk, J. S., Phillips, J. C., & Roy, P. (2011). Suicide from the perspectives of older men who experience depression: A gender analysis. American Journal of Men’s Health, 5(5), 444–454.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Olweus, D., & Endresen, I. M. (1998). The importance of sex-of-stimulus object: Age trends and sex differences in empathic responsiveness. Social Development, 7(3), 370–388.Google Scholar
  54. Pahl, J. (1995). His money, her money: Recent research on financial organisation in marriage. Journal of Economic Psychology, 16(3), 361–376.Google Scholar
  55. Real, T. (1998). I don’t want to talk about it: Overcoming the secret legacy of male depression. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  56. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Sayer, L. C., England, P., Allison, P. D., & Kangas, N. (2011). She left, he left: How employment and satisfaction affect women’s and men’s decisions to leave marriages. American Journal of Sociology, 116(6), 1982–2018.Google Scholar
  58. Scarantino, A. (2017). How to do things with emotional expressions: The theory of affective pragmatics. Psychological Inquiry, 28(2–3), 165–185.Google Scholar
  59. Sear, R., & Mace, R. (2008). Who keeps children alive? A review of the effects of kin on child survival. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(1), 1–18.Google Scholar
  60. Smock, P. J., Manning, W. D., & Porter, M. (2005). “Everything’s there except money”: How money shapes decisions to marry among cohabitors. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(3), 680–696.Google Scholar
  61. Stewart-Williams, S., & Thomas, A. G. (2013). The ape that thought it was a peacock: Does evolutionary psychology exaggerate human sex differences? Psychological Inquiry, 24(3), 137–168.Google Scholar
  62. Stuijfzand, S., De Wied, M., Kempes, M., Van de Graaff, J., Branje, S., & Meeus, W. (2016). Gender differences in empathic sadness towards persons of the same-versus other-sex during adolescence. Sex roles, 75(9–10), 434–446.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  63. Van Creveld, M. (2013). The privileged sex. DLVC Enterprises.Google Scholar
  64. Waynforth, D. (1999). Differences in time use for mating and nepotistic effort as a function of male attractiveness in rural Belize. Evolution and Human Behavior, 20(1), 19–28.Google Scholar
  65. Weinberg, M. K., & Tronick, E. Z. (1997). Depressed mothers and infants: Failure to form dyadic states of consciousness. In L. Murray & P. J. Cooper (Eds.), Postpartum depression and child development (pp. 54–81). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  66. Wood, A., Downer, K., Lees, B., & Toberman, A. (2012). Household financial decision making: Qualitative research with couples. Department for Work and Pensions Research Report, 805. London: DWP.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ResearcherLondonUK

Personalised recommendations