Defining Masculinity

The Psychology of Masculinity (Part 1 of 2)

Audio : Dean Beezer

The psychological distinction between men and women has been informally observed for ages to be a product of an individual’s biology. Being male, automatically sets the precedence for a man’s mental wiring. Likewise, a woman’s psychological inclinations are innate; being a fact of her biological reality. The truth that men are mentally (psychologically) different from women makes the clearest statement yet, that the psychological manifestation of masculinity, by necessity, will differ from a feminine representation. How though, is this reality of the “psychological manifestation of masculinity” observed?

Dr. Nirao Shah; a Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences and Neurobiology at Stanford University published in the Spring 2017 publication of the Stanford Medicine, findings offering overwhelming scientific support to the widely held view that “women are from Venus, men are from Mars.” Shah, published data which offered scientific justification for the view that men and women are psychologically different. In an article posted via Stanford Medicine entitled; “Two Minds; The cognitive differences between men and women,” Shah stated as the aim of his extended experimentation and research was to allow him to “zero in on sex-associated behavioral differences in mating, parenting and aggression.”

Shah argues that these sex-associated behavioural differences are “essential for survival and propagation,” adding that “They’re innate rather than learned — at least in animals — so the circuitry involved ought to be developmentally hard-wired into the brain. These circuits should differ depending on which sex you’re looking at.” At first glance, a simple mind may quickly dismiss this observation to be localized to animals. However, prior to this observation, science usually did not admit a behavioural connection between sex and preferences etc. In 1991, just a few years before Shah launched his sex-differences research, Diane Halpern, PhD, past president of the American Psychological Association, began writing the first edition of her acclaimed academic text, Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities. She found that the ​animal-​research literature had been steadily accreting reports of sex-associated neuroanatomical (i.e., study of the nervous system) and behavioral differences.

The former president of the American Psychological Association; Dr. Diane Halpern, spent most of her life believing the lie that any observed psychological difference between a male and a female is merely a product of socialization. She, like many contemporary behavioural scientists, are now correctly of the view that our psychological masculine distinction is rooted in our biological reality. Dr. Halpern concluded, in the preface of her aforementioned work; Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, “At the time, it seemed clear to me that any between-sex differences in thinking abilities were due to socialization practices, artifacts and mistakes in the research, and bias and prejudice. … After reviewing a pile of journal articles that stood several feet high and numerous books and book chapters that dwarfed the stack of journal articles … I changed my mind.

What becomes immediately evident here, is that a man’s mind is intrinsically distinct from a woman’s mind. This distinction is not particularly a product of his sociological reality but entrenched in his biology and theology. There is a component of Masculinity which has to be nurtured. However, the successful nurturing of Masculinity will never be actualized without an admission and understanding of the unique NATURE of Masculinity. Remember, “Male and female CREATED He them” (Gen 5:2).

We will continue to build on the Psychology of Masculinity in part two.

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