Conformity to masculine norms and gender role conflict have each been linked to male-perpetrated aggression. However, these constructs have been critiqued for their assumption that gender can be reducible to the individual. Despite the excellent psychometric properties and multidimensionality of modern masculinity measures, their positivistic epistemological framework may render them insufficient for predicting the socially constructed gendered component of male aggression. The current study sought to empirically evaluate this critique by analyzing the extent to which gender norm adherence and gender role conflict uniquely predict a highly gender-linked phenomenon, physical aggression, over and above trait agreeableness. As such, 181 undergraduate students were recruited from a Southeastern university in the United States to complete assessment pertinent to masculinity (CMNI and GRCS), personality (NEO-FFI Agreeableness), and physical aggression (BAQ). Path analyses were utilized to estimate direct and indirect effects of conformity to masculine norms and gender role conflict on aggression over and above trait agreeableness. Results suggest that conformity to masculine norms and gender role conflict both directly account for men’s violence; however, when gender role conflict is considered in tandem with only the masculine norm most salient to physical aggression (i.e., violence), its relationship with aggression is fully mediated by trait agreeableness. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of more fully incorporating a constructionist approach in efforts to represent gender as it unfolds in the context of men’s aggression.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2015
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