Sociology Index


Masculinization is a term applied to the critique of traditional academic discussions of the female offender and of popular depictions of female criminality. Masculinization refers to the attribution of male characteristics to women in an attempt to understand their behavior rather than locating women's behavior in female experience or structural location. Freda Alder, for example, argued in 1975 that the women's movement would lead to an increase in female crime because liberation would make women more like men. Masculinization is also the abnormal development of male sexual characteristics in a female resulting from hormone therapies or adrenal malfunction. The term masculine female identifies members of the female sex who demonstrate masculine features. The term masculinization is frequently used in a variety of contexts.

In the dominant masculinist discourse, the “feminine is conceptualized and actualized as the ontological Other to be mastered and controlled; the masculine values, on the other hand, are taken as the prototype for human behaviour (Persram 1994; Peterson 1997). 

The Masculinization of Poverty: Gender and Global Restructing
Keith Nurse, Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.
This paper is built on the premise that masculinism is a gendered ideology that is socially constructed and therefore not static or immutable but shaped by the historical and cultural context (Connell 1995; Peterson 1997). Also, the paper operates with the concept of multiple masculinities (as well as multiple femininities) rather than a single masculinity, because the norms and traits associated with dominant or elite males are generally extrapolated as universal, which legitimizes and normalizes hegemonic masculinity and marginalizes subordinate or subaltern masculinities. The concept of multiple masculinities incorporates the intersection between gender, ethnicity, race, sexuality, nation and empire (Connell 1995; Hooper 1998).

Mentor Revealed: Masculinization of an Early Feminist Construct - Gerald P. Koocher, Simons College. EJ Nordeen and P Yahr - Journal of Neuroscience, Vol 3, 933-941.
Abstract: Mentor Revealed: Masculinization of an Early Feminist Construct Johnson's (2002) excellent paper on mentoring perpetuates a sexist stereotype in its portrayal of Mentor as a male.
A regional analysis of estrogen binding to hypothalamic cell nuclei in relation to masculinization and defeminization. Masculinization makes males more sensitive than females to estrogen for showing male sexual behavior. Thus masculinization and defeminization produce opposite effects on estrogen sensitivity.

Domesticating Masculinity and Masculinizing Domesticity in Contemporary U.S. Fatherhood Politics.
Abstract: The U.S. fatherhood responsibility movement has claimed that fathers have become marginalized in the family, with catastrophic societal consequences. The fatherhood responsibility movement seeks to reestablish the necessity of men in families, constituting fatherhood as specifically male in differentiation from the feminizing connotations of family involvement. However, by masculinizing fatherhood, proponents of responsible fatherhood engage a century-long dilemma at the heart of constructing particularly male versions of parenthood: How do you masculinize domesticity and at the same time domesticate masculinity? The fatherhood responsibility movement deals with this dilemma by converging on three long-standing and overlapping arenas for masculinization: heterosexuality, sport, and religion.

GENDER AND NATIONALISM: THE MASCULINIZATION OF HINDUISM AND FEMALE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN INDIA - Sikata Banerjee, Department of Women's Studies, University of Victoria. Women's Studies International Forum, Volume 26, Number 2, March 2003, pp. 167-179(13).
Abstract: Feminist analysis has revealed the gendered nature of nations and nationalism. Adopting such a perspective, this paper analyzes the relationship between the masculinization of Hindu nationalism and female political participation. The image of an aggressive male warrior is central to certain versions of Hindu nationalism or Hindutva in contemporary India. This image is embedded within a political narrative, which declares its affinity for ideas of resolute masculinity through an array of symbols, historic icons, and myths. Given that Indian women are very visible in the politics of Hindutva, this paper interrogates how women have created a political space for themselves in a very masculinist narrative. This interrogation focuses on historical and cultural processes that enabled this masculinization.

Behavioral and Physical Masculinization Are Related to Genotype in Girls with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Catherine M. Hall, Julie A. Jones, Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg, Curtis Dolezal, Michelle Coleman, Peter Foster, David A. Price and Peter E. Clayton.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 89, No. 1 419-424
Girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) exhibit behavioral masculinization. There is controversy about the roles of pre- and postnatal androgens, social factors, and chronic illness in its etiology. Both physical and behavioral masculinization were related to each other and to genotype, indicating that behavioral masculinization is a consequence of prenatal androgen exposure.

Male sex drive and the masculinization of the genome
Rama S. Singh, Department of Biology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada, email: Rama S. Singh.
Rob J. Kulathinal, Department of Organismic, Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Abstract: Charles Darwin remarked that males, with their superior strength, pugnacity, armaments, unwieldly passion and love songs, are almost always the more active and most often, the initiators of sexual interactions. Here, we propose that such male sex drive directly impacts the genome by leading to its progressive masculinization - genes that possess sex-specific effects on male fitness accumulate to a much greater extent and are generally more diverged.

Self-perceived attractiveness and masculinization predict women’s sociosexuality - Andrew P. Clark - McMaster University.

Contracting Masculinity: Gender, Class, and Race in a White-Collar Union, 1944-1994 by Gillian Creese, Heidi Gottfried.
The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 106, No. 1 (Jul., 2000), pp. 271-273.

Susan Bordo. 1986. "The Cartesian Masculinization of Thought." Signs.

Oedipus in the Stone Age: A Psychoanalytic Study of Masculinization in Papua New Guinea by Theodore Lidz, Ruth Wilmanns Lidz, Harriette Dukeley Borsuch, Michele D. Dominy, Gender and Society, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 128-131.