Gender in Organizations
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Gender in Organizations

Are Men Allies or Adversaries to Women’s Career Advancement?

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Debra A. Major

Diversifying the workforce is becoming increasingly important, with gender equality being a central feature of overall equality. Men seem to be part of the problem and a necessary part of the solution. This collection ties these themes together in the context of talent management and organizational effectiveness.
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Chapter 2: The gender role socialization of boys to men

Ronald F. Levant and Thomas J. Rankin


The purpose of this chapter is to review the literature on the gender role socialization of boys into men. We first put this domain of research and scholarship into context by discussing the gender role strain paradigm, which is the most influential theoretical framework in the psychology of men and masculinity. Attention is then given to the core construct of the gender role strain paradigm: masculinity ideologies. We discuss the varieties of masculinity ideologies and dominant ideology that informs the socialization of boys into men. After considering the types of strain posited by the gender role strain paradigm, we focus on trauma strain, which we use to frame the review of the literature on early childhood gender role socialization. In this review we focus on emotion socialization, and consider the trauma experienced by many boys as they are influenced to conform to the traditional masculine norm of restrictive emotionality. This then sets the stage for a discussion of the normative male alexithymia hypothesis, which posits that men reared to conform to traditional masculine norms will have difficulty becoming aware of and verbalizing their emotional experiences.

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