Saturday, 16 June 2018

'I don't really have any issue with masculinity': Older Canadian men's perceptions and experiences of embodied masculinity

J Aging Stud. 2018 Jun;45:18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jaging.2018.01.003. Epub 2018 Jan 17. . Hurd Clarke L1, Lefkowich M2. Author information 1 School of Kinesiology, The University of British Columbia, 1924-156 West Mall, Vancouver, V6T 1Z2, B.C., Canada. Electronic address: 2 School of Population and Public Health, The University of British Columbia, 2206 East Mall, Vancouver, V6T 1Z3, B.C., Canada. Electronic address: Abstract The article explores what older Canadian men consider to be the definition of masculinity, how they evaluate their own masculinity relative to their definition, and how and why they use particular forms of body work in response to aging and their understandings of masculinity. Data are presented from qualitative interviews with 29 community-dwelling men aged 65-89. The men in our study defined masculinity relationally with femininity and homosexuality and identified three hallmarks of masculinity, namely: physical strength, leadership, and virility. While the men tended to emphasize that they were secure in their own masculine identities, some conceded that they diverged from societal definitions of masculinity with respect to their preferred activities, physical attributes, or personal qualities. Many of the men also perceived that aging and the accompanying physical and social changes were threats to their continued ability to be masculine. In an effort to slow down or redress bodily changes that were perceived to be undermining or diminishing their masculinity, the men engaged in exercise and/or were using or considering pharmaceutical interventions such as Viagra and Cialis. We discuss our findings in light of the masculinity literature and age relations theorizing. KEYWORDS: Age relations; Aging; Body; Masculinity; Older men