By Jonatas Dornelles
A historical and anthropological contemplation with respects to construction of role models
In history of human sexuality role models, dictate trends in sex.
We went a way out of ourselves in order to supply a sexed article from
a set of pieces on sexuality formation worldwide. We hope that you sexually
What makes a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman? Under the constructivist
standpoint, it's conceded that gender is socially created. No questions that
individuals are born with certain biological characteristics that sort them
out as male and female.
However, it's in the social sphere that they will learn to be men and women.
Which takes place from assimilation of pre-established demeanors, culturally
and socially, whether as males or as females. Gender-built up is a set of various
aspects, attributes and attitudes that bear on significance.
Let's take the case of masculinity as an example. In the human sciences, especially
anthropology, there's the consensus that masculinity; varies accordingly to
culture, varies as time goes by within the same culture, varies among men of
the same culture, varies within the different phases of individual development
of a man. What's more, there's the consensus that masculinity created over inequalities,
sex, age, ethnical etc.
Furthermore, gender makeup takes place over aspects in constant variation.
In every society and age, exist role models of what is to be a man, for instance.
Michael S. Kimmel, in his book "Manhood in America (1996), makes a rather
interesting classification of the various types of masculinity created in the
U.S. According to the author, at the end of the XVIII there used to exist a
model of masculinity of the Gentle Patriarch. His identity would base upon land
possession, care with the domain, affection towards family, courteousness, elegance
and certain sensuality. Aspects that can be visualized on the historical figures
of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
At the same period, and in contrast to the Gentle Patriarch, Kimmel identifies
the masculinity model of the Heroic Handcrafter. His main characteristics are
physical strength; being an independent and urban handcrafter; and, proprietor
of his own business.
To the author accordingly, later on, at the first half of the XIX century,
appeared a new model of masculinity; the self-made man. In this case, masculinity
should be demonstrated on the market board. Comes to illustrate this model the
executive, and the city sleeker that gets by on his own efforts.
In a short term familial timesharing, shows his ascension (and masculinity)
in the enormous acquisition of values and, lives up trying to prove his capacity,
success and social ascendancy.
In my opinion, it's perceivable that in this process lies the antipodean of
winner and looser.
Much as, be a winner signifies to add up another aspect to the masculine image
of the individual. In this instance, means to be the ultimate male. In contrast,
the looser or weak, the less-like man. Therefore, being maleness created and
demonstrated over someone else's opposition as well. This someone might be either
the so-called looser such as women, gay men, the different ethnical groups and
those individuals leading different life styles.
In the urban context of todays, live hand in hand different models of masculinity
simultaneously. To instance models, to be a businessman means to harbor a set
of attitudes of such kind of men. To be a hard working person or blue-collar
working class hero implies in harboring different attitudes altogether. And,
a man from artistically aspirations is bound to harbor attitudes deemed as male-like.
All are men in their rights and masculine-like within their respective groups.
Currently appeared a new model of masculinity- the metrossexual. It's
not a hegemonic model, coming to live with other models. The metrossexual
man characterizes, basically, by taking good care of his looks. Generally, stemming
from mid-class, which enables the expenditure of great sums of money with male-grade
Thus, the wake of a new kind of behavior propelled the growth of a market churned
by this kind of consumer.
New models are bound to crop up. There should be awareness of the fluidity
they are devised and harbored. Bias and discrimination in that latches on masculinity
Mainly those prejudices towards women, gays and ethnicities. The models of
gender, whether male or female, exist in all societies. The problem arises when
those role models suffocate those individuals labeled as different.