Masculinity also called manhood or manliness is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles associated with boys and men. Although masculinity is socially constructed,  some research indicates that some behaviors considered masculine are biologically influenced. Standards of manliness or masculinity vary across different cultures and historical periods. Machismo is a form of masculinity that emphasizes power and is often associated with a disregard for consequences and responsibility. Masculine qualities and roles are considered typical of, appropriate for, and expected of boys and men. The academic study of masculinity received increased attention during the late s and early s, with the number of courses on the subject in the United States rising from 30 to over
What gay men’s attitudes to masculinity have taught me about womanhood | Gender | The Guardian
M asculinity is in crisis. That message resonates loud and clear from the mainstream media. Hardly a day goes by without straight men debating what it means to be a man now that women are becoming more powerful and male privilege is being eroded. Over the past fortnight, some have even whined about the widespread outrage ignited by women who have been sexually exploited finally taking a stand against their oppressors. Well, first of all, they need to get over themselves.
You often hear about how standards of femininity hurt women's sex lives by discouraging them from expressing their sexuality or asserting their needs in the bedroom. But toxic standards of masculinity hurt men's sex lives — and everyone's — just as much. When people are held to gendered expectations in the bedroom, everyone misses out on being their authentic selves and connecting with their partners' authentic selves. Toxic standards of masculinity rob masc-identifying people of the right to safely express themselves as they see fit and can create pressure to play a role, rather than simply exist as themselves. It's also important for partners of masc-identifying people to be conscious of ways they might be perpetuating these toxic standards in their own sex lives.
This means that from very early on boys get messages on what it means to be a boy. The graphics below are word clouds that display the words used to market toys to girls and boys respectively. The bigger the text, the more frequently it appears in toy marketing material. From an early age these messages work to shape individuals into boys or girls.