Typology of masculinity on the basis of young men’s self-evaluation, gender role satisfaction and sexual practices

Kadri Soo, Dagmar Kutsar

The aim of the present article is to determine the prevalent types of masculinity among 16-19 year old Estonian young men and their correlation to parenting styles, gender role satisfaction and attitudes and practices related to sexual behaviour. The empirical data is derived from the questionnaire about sexual behaviours and attitudes administered in 2003 among Estonian school students. Proceeding from Sandra Bem’s abbreviated BSRI (Bem Sex Role Inventory) questionnaire and using cluster analysis we defined three types of masculinity the correlations of which with parenting styles, attitudes and behaviours were studied with the help of regression analysis. Boys who belonged to the con dent-caring type expressed features similar to new or positive masculinity. They believed themselves to possess both traditional masculine and feminine values, were satisfied with their gender role, preferred expressive rather than instrumental attitudes in sexual relations- hips and were not violent. Boys of the aggressive-uncaring type expressed such characteristics of dominating masculinity as power and heteronormativity. They were prone to risk, aggressive, lacked empathy, preferred double standards in sexuality and considered themselves likely to perpetrate sexual violence. Boys with an indistinct type of masculinity who scored low on both traditional femininity and masculinity were characterized by less sexual experience than the other types and lesser satisfaction with their gender role. The analysis showed the effect of parenting styles on the masculine self-image of young men.