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Q: How do gender and sex contribute to the concepts and constructions of masculinity and femininity?
A: The feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s did more than just bring to light the inequities that existed between men and women. The movement also increased public awareness of how issues such as gender, sex and sexuality are defined. [ As a direct result of this process, scholars began a more thorough investigation of what these terms meant and how they were socially constructed. Although a
greater understanding of issues related to gender and sex have been garnered, the reality of the social nature of these concepts indicates that as social and cultural discourse change, so too will the meanings of these terms. With the realization that issues such as gender and sex have ever-evolving meaning, it is clear that any attempt to understand these issues must be framed in a modern context with consideration of cultural and social realities. Using this as a basis for investigation, this research considers the evolution of masculinity theory and how it applies to modern society. Through a careful consideration of how masculinity theory is constructed and a review of the evolution of this theory, it will be possible to elucidate the role that masculinity theory plays in current social discourse. Further, by examining the role of masculinity, the importance, or lack thereof, placed on this theory will be gleaned. Masculinity Theory-An Overview In order to begin this investigation, it is first helpful to consider a broad history of the evolution of masculinity theory. A critical review of what has been written about the development of masculinity theory demonstrates that this theory is positioned in a larger spectrum of sociological research that has been undertaken on the subjects of gender and sex. Reviewing some of the pertinent highlights of how research in this area developed, one author asserts that sex role theory and the social construction of gender were pivotal points for developing research on masculinity and femininity (Allwood, 77). ]
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Asked 3/24/2013 1:15:58 PM
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