Hard won and easily lost: A review and synthesis of theory and research on precarious manhood

Citation data:

Psychology of Men and Masculinity, ISSN: 1524-9220, Vol: 14, Issue: 2, Page: 101-113

Publication Year:
Usage 5243
Abstract Views 2682
Link-outs 2406
Full Text Views 145
Downloads 10
Captures 373
Readers 245
Exports-Saves 128
Mentions 2
News Mentions 2
Social Media 13
Tweets 13
Citations 152
Citation Indexes 152
Repository URL:
https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/psy_facpub/2251; https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/psy_facpub/1161
Vandello, Joseph A.; Bosson, Jennifer K.
American Psychological Association (APA)
Social Sciences; Psychology; achieved status; male gender role; precarious manhood
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
Most Recent News Mention
article description
This article reviews evidence that manhood is seen as a precarious social status that is both difficult to achieve and tenuously held. Compared with womanhood, which is typically viewed as resulting from a natural, permanent, and biological developmental transition, manhood must be earned and maintained through publicly verifiable actions. Because of this, men experience more anxiety over their gender status than women do, particularly when gender status is uncertain or challenged. This can motivate a variety of risky and maladaptive behaviors, as well as the avoidance of behaviors that might otherwise prove adaptive and beneficial. We review research on the implications of men's precarious gender status across the domains of risk-taking, aggression, stress and mental health, and work-life balance. We further consider how work on precarious manhood differs from, and can add to, work on individual differences in men's gender role conflict. In summary, the precarious manhood hypothesis can integrate and explain a wide range of male behaviors and phenomena related to the male gender role © 2012 American Psychological Association.