The Contemporary “Crisis” of Masculinity in Historical Perspective

Masculinity and femininity are relational constructs; the definition of either depends on the definition of the other. The sex-role paradigm has been critically discussed and evaluated in detail. Changes in sex roles appear as changes in the list of traits or attitudes associated with masculinity or femininity. By looking at Restoration England, 1688 – 1714, and the United States two centuries later, 1880–1914, the chapter identifies how historical and social changes create the conditions for gender crisis. The historical evidence suggests that while both masculinity and femininity are socially constructed within historical context of gender relations, definitions of masculinity are historically reactive to changing definitions of femininity. Several important, large-scale changes converged on the late-seventeenth-century household, prompting the renegotiation of gender relations, of sexuality and marriage, and a reexamination of the notion of masculinity. Efforts to revive masculinity were often embedded in a larger critique of American culture.

Released: Replika 43–44, 55–74.
Replika block:
Anna Boross