Dr. Ronald Levant, Professor of Psychology at the University of Akron, joined us on The Woodbury Report, Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
Joining host Lon Woodbury on The Woodbury Report, LIVE today on K4HD.com, was Dr. Ronald Levant, Ed D, ABPP who talked with Lon about what masculinity is in 2014 and how the ideas and norms have changed tremendously over the last 50 years. Once told to be strong and silent, that "real men don't cry" or to stop being a sissy, men (and women) are still confused about the roles men have because they are constantly changing. In 2014 there now are many types of masculinity. For example, metro sexual a combination of metropolitan and heterosexual, who are quite meticulous in their appearance and grooming, or the strong and silent type or those that are freely opening up and expressing their feelings. "With the multiple masculine roles, it can be very confusing to young men and boys growing up today to know which or what role they want to be like.
One thing that Lon and Ronald agreed on is the roles now that men are taking on include taking a more active role in the raising and care of their children. No longer hands off, men are expected to help now that the women are out in the work field. With the Women's Movement in the 60's- women now have more options and are now empowered by the financial independence they have by working. Men adjust to these new roles often based on income earnings and can no longer proclaim they are the sole provider of the household. Through these new standards that men are living by now- they can take care of their children and still be masculine. It now means that men can open their hearts to their families and it is ok to show their emotions. The days of being strong and silent are over. Men are now very demonstrative with their kids to show them affection, giving hugs and saying I love you. As Dr. Levant shared, "men are breaking out of the straightjacket of masculinity and are now open to showing their love with their kids. And for women, they are enjoying equality."
So, Moms and Dads are balancing family life, sharing child care, sharing household duties and are doing so with more open communication (and scheduling!) "We need to quit talking about sex differences and we should be talking about gender similarities. Boys and young men in their 20's have the desire to express their feelings, but don't know how to. They had no role models or encouragement. It comes down to people are still confused as to what masculine roles are the "norm".