An Analysis of Masculine Socialization and Male Sexual Anxiety

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Virginia Tech

This study uses autobiographical reflection to investigate the negative impact of essentialist masculine gender socialization on men's lives. In particular, I use personal recollective accounts both from my early childhood socialization-in the traditional Greek-Cypriot culture of the 1970s and 80s-and from my own introspections and analytical conceptualizations concerning intimate relationships in general. I analyze these accounts by using a feminist postmodern ideology of gender deconstruction and reconstruction. Men oftentimes fall victims of patriarchal masculine scripting by suppressing their needs for intimacy, connectedness, and self-disclosure, qualities traditionally devalued as feminine traits. Suppressing such needs exacerbates inadequacies in male intimacy with possible manifestations in the form of generalized non-clinical male sexual anxiety. Implications are also discussed in terms of the by-products of male sexual anxiety, such as non-clinical sexual addiction and male victimization.

essentialism, patriarchy, anxiety, abuse, deconstruction, masculinity, intimacy, addictions, socialization, narrative