Masculinity Paper

Assignment Length: The paper should be a minimum of 5, double-spaced, 12pt. font, pages in length. Papers can exceed this as this as no maximum limits are set. Description: In response to viewing the thought-provoking documentary, ‘The Mask you Live In’ (Siebel Newsom, 2015), and at least two other sources, students will get the opportunity to write up what they they learned about the social construction of violent masculinity, the perpetuation of a stifling mask of emotional invulnerability and toughness cast on to boys at a young age and associated gendered outcomes (e.g., gendering of mass shootings, suicide, sexual assault, incarceration for violent crimes, etc), interweave their thoughts and, if helpful, personal relevance with the topic, and in their conclusion consider strategies they think would be effective in redressing this narrow ‘man box’ and resultant harmful consequences. This paper adopts the social constructionism approach to making sense of gender differences instead of the essentialism school of thought (N.B. Both perspectives are reviewed in the chapter on Gender and Sexualities in the text) and students need to consider the role that family, peers, media, school and/or sports coaches in producing gendered realities. Note: i) In terms of demonstrating how violent masculinity gets socially created, instilled and transmitted as opposed to gender differences being natural, innate, and biologically destined as essentialists claim, students must examine the role that four agents of gender socialization (family, media, peers, school or sports coaches) play in constructing and imposing this limiting version of masculinity. Students need only consider one or two (if working as a pair) of the adverse gendered outcomes/gender differences in behaviour that arise from such imbalanced gender socialization experiences, be it the gender gap in homicide, sexual assault, suicide, mass shootings, school attrition, etc. ii) In terms of the supplementary sources referenced in this paper, these can be strictly chapter readings in the textbook (e.g., 4, 5, 10 or 13) or they can be other reliable scholarly sources retrieved from Humber library database. Given that some students learn best from audiovisual sources, these additional materials can also include other gender-themed documentaries and/or TED talks. Other documentaries worth reviewing include: Tough Guise 1 or 2, Dream Worlds 3: Desire, Sex and Power in Music Videos, The Bro Code, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. The paper is primarily a documentary analytical review paper, using the text and other sources to enrich your investigation. iii) Proper APA documentation must be adhered to both within your paper and references list. See: Proper citation (in-text and references page) for the documentary, as well as other documentaries consulted, should be included. In terms of a content guide for this assignment, please consider the following: 1. The introduction should briefly present/introduce the subject under investigation in Siebel-Newsom’s (2015) documentary, ‘The Mask You Live In’. Also included in the introduction is efforts to define/distinguish the concepts of sex and gender (i.e., done well by scholars in the documentary, but also can be clarified in concert with Young and Fetner’s (2017) chapter on gender and sexuality in the course text). Young and Fetner (2017) present two schools of thought that help explain gender differences – essentialism and social constructionism. While it is optional in your introductory paragraph to acknowledge that there is the competing view of essentialism which claims that gender differences are rooted in our distinctive biologies, for the purpose of this paper you intend to examine the social constructionist explanation of gender differences, more specifically how masculinity and its expressions are products of imbalanced gender socialization experiences. 2. Students must pick at least one (or two if working with a fellow student) gender difference in behaviour from the long list discussed in the course or considered in ‘The Mask You Live In’ documentary and show in your papers how this gendered phenomenon stems from the different socialization experiences that males receive from their female counterparts. For example, some gender differences students can scrutinize include: a) the gender gap in suicide (males dying by suicide at a notably higher rate than females), b) males disproportionately being the perpetrators of sexual assault, c) males invariably being both the perpetrator and victim of homicide, d) masculinizing of mass shooting rampages, e) overrepresentation of males in the prison system, f) dropping out of school, g) double standard in attitudes toward and the practice of sexual promiscuity, and so on. Students have three choices as to how they document the gendered pattern of interest: Students can i) discuss the gendered behaviour in their introduction, including empirical evidence (statistics) that demonstrate there is a gender gap/difference that warrants studying or ii) have your first section/paragraph in the body of your paper be allocated to this, iii) integrate attention to the four agents of gender socialization together with their attendant gendered ill effects, or iv) coverage of the gendered outcome can be the last section of the body after one has reviewed the role that four agents of gender socialization have played in (re)producing these gender differences. 3. The body of your paper should be made up of four or five sections (N.B. Avoid overly long or overly short paragraphs. A section can have for instance 2 paragraphs. A paragraph should provide one or two points at the most plus supporting evidence to substantiate those points). While not necessary, students can use headings or subheadings to help facilitate clarity and flow of one’s paper. For instance, one could have the introduction (no need to title) followed by the headings: A. Gender Gap in Suicide, B: Parents, C. Peers, D. Media (includes video games, music videos, music, TV, movies, ads, magazines, social media, etc), E. School or Sports coaches, and then the conclusion (no need to title). 4. With respect to your personal voice/experience, you can either reserve your thoughts to the conclusion or you can use your own observations and experiences as supplementary/additional supporting examples that complement the qualitative and/or quantitative data gained from the documentary, textbook and/or research sources. 5. The conclusion: Students must provide a very brief synopsis of what they gleaned from the documentary and/or their investigation. Importantly, in this section I want you to advance ideas, even those that are hard, costly or you anticipate resistance to implement, that you think would change things and improve everyone’s lives. While pages 117-120 in chapter 5 will not be covered in the final exam, you can get ideas for rectifying/remedying things, dismantling the ‘man box’ and its ill effects from these pages, if desired. References cited (APA documentation is a must for both in-text referencing and reference list – see link above)

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