The Hardening and Softening of Men

Eric Anderson

in The Monogamy Gap

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199777921
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919062 | DOI:

Series: Sexuality, Identity, and Society

The Hardening and Softening of Men

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This chapter provides some of the historical circumstances of the era that monogamy emerged in, and the conservative type of masculinity produced as a result of the industrial revolution. Most importantly, this chapter shows that being a man throughout the 20th century was predicated in misogyny, homophobia, violence, and domination of women. Thus, this was an era in which polygamy was replaced with monogamy; women increasingly maintained some legal rights, but men nonetheless felt a privilege to rule over them. Accordingly, some argue that men learned to cheat as a result of proving their heterosexuality, enacting their power over women, and reproducing patriarchy. However, this chapter also dispels this as a reason for the cheating examined in this study. It does this by showing that undergraduate men look much more favorably upon women than previous generations. Thus, misogyny is not the primary reason men cheat.

Keywords: masculinity; misogyny; cheating; patriarchy; homophobia

Chapter.  3153 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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