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Psychological theory pertaining to masculinity and its assessment: a review

10 December 2005


There have been four distinct eras of masculinity theory in the field of Psychology. Each of these eras spawned masculinity assessments. In the first era, masculinity and femininity are seen as unidimensional trait-based constructs. These constructs exist as endpoints of a bipolar spectrum that travel through a neutral (genderless) middle point. In the second era, masculinity and femininity are seen as separate constructs that could both exist, in varying degrees, in the same person, but are still unidimensional and trait based. In the third era, masculinity is seen as multidimensional and independent from traits. Rather, masculinity in the third era is seen as socially constructed and deperident on the individual's environment and upbringing. In . the fourth era, the core belief that one is of a certain gender, a concept ignored by third era theories, is explored. Furthermore, newer theories that address problems with current masculinity theories are likely to emerge.


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