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  1. Ronald F. Levant

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0527

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Levant, R. F. 2010. Masculinity. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Akron

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The dominant psychological perspective on masculinity views gender roles not as biological or even social “givens,” but rather as psychologically and socially constructed entities that bring certain advantages and disadvantages. Most importantly, they can change. This perspective acknowledges the biological differences between men and women, but argues that it is not the biological differences of sex that make for masculinity and femininity. These notions are socially constructed from bits and pieces of biological, psychological, and social experience to serve particular purposes. Traditional constructions of gender serve patriarchal purposes; non-traditional constructions, such as Gilmore (1990) described among the Tahitians and the Semai, serve more equalitarian purposes.

Adapted from Levant, R. F. (1996). The new psychology of men. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 27, 259-265. Copyright © 1996 by the American Psychological Association. Adapted with permission.


  • gender roles;
  • social constructionism;
  • role strains;
  • feminity