The political significance of fragile masculinity

Sarah H. DiMuccio, Eric D. Knowles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent research in gender psychology finds that males are expected to actively earn and maintain their status as ‘real men’ or risk losing this valued group status. The precariousness of manhood can create anxiety among males who feel that they are failing to meet cultural standards of masculinity—a state we term fragile masculinity. Although research has identified a variety of strategies that men adopt in order to restore their threatened status as ‘real men’, few studies have examined compensatory attitudes and behaviors in the political realm. We review recent evidence suggesting a link between fragile masculinity and aggressive political stances as well as support for the party (Republicans) that tends to endorse such stances. Overall, the evidence, though currently limited, suggests that fragile masculinity is crucial to fully understanding men's political attitudes and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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