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Toxic Masculinity's Effects on Male Aggression and Violence
Marialaura Freire
Division:
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Department:
Gender Studies, Social Sciences
Mentor:
Jessica Christian
Mentor's e-mail:
jchristian@occ.cccd.edu
Author's e-mail:
mlfreire2001@gmail.com
Abstract:

It is no secret that in the United States we still live in a world largely dominated by men. Whether it be in the workforce, positions of power, family, or just daily life, men tend to have the upper hand. In said man’s world, there is a reoccurring pattern of men having a short fuse, as the way men have been socialized to handle emotion is by channeling it into anger. In the US alone, it was found that incidents of domestic violence increased by 8.1% after the nation-wide lockdown was imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic (CCJ). We examine the connection between developmental socialization leading to toxic masculinity, which in turn can translate to increased aggression. This is a topic that has long been fascinating to me from a cis woman’s perspective. Today, many of the systemic issues we experience are built upon the egos of fragile yet hypermasculine males, fueled by the need to overcompensate for insecurity by establishing power over others. The goal of this research is to explore how and why men are socialized, which affects their emotional intelligence. Through review of academic articles and research exploring the contemporary topics like childhood socialization, a comprehensive conclusion can be reached of the causes of domestic abuse that can trace back to childhood. Exploring the patriarchal and hyper-masculinized behavior norms enforced on men will offer clarity to emotional naiveté, fear, assertion of dominance, and violence. The intention is to raise awareness of toxic masculinity and its aggression, emphasize the importance of emotional intelligence, and offer resources to aid those who are affected by domestic abuse and violence. The issue of toxic masculinity is deeply structural, and will take work to unlearn, but through making steps to mold the next generation to have compassion, emotional intuitiveness, and awareness can begin to shift the world away from its centuries-long pattern of uplifting men and oppressing women.

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