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Masculinity

Refers to a constellation of human behaviors, qualities, roles and characteristics that have been socially deemed to be masculine and to constitute “manliness.” Boys are taught to demonstrate these attributes and adopt behaviors and roles that are stereotypes of what it means to be a “real” or “normal” man. Prevailing conceptions of masculinity, which reflect Western values, include personal qualities, such as being disciplined, physically strong and muscular, physically active, rational and in control. Men are also assumed to be heterosexual, interested in sex at all times, and sexually assertive. See our Toxic Masculinity overview.

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