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Peer Response – Male Violence and Tragedies in the United States

Peer Response – Male Violence and Tragedies in the United States

Responding to Peer 1

Hello,

I agree that anger is not defined by race, but how society treats people from various races and ethnicities may be the leading cause of anger expression and management disparities among people from different backgrounds. For instance, racially marginalized people may express anger when they are discriminated against or denied services other races can access. A study by Rivera-Rodriguez et al. (2021) discusses the relationship between race and anger. Rivera-Rodriguez et al. (2021) argue that African Americans are stereotyped as aggressive or angry than people from other demographic groups, leading to a low tolerance for their expression of anger. The low tolerance for African Americans’ expression of anger has influenced how society views male violence among African Americans. For instance, African American men may be considered violent because they may express anger by fighting or punching something. Most African Americans also live in neighborhoods where violence and drug abuse are prevalent, leading to the assumption that male African Americans express their anger with violence.

References

Rivera-Rodriguez, A., Sherwood, M., Fitzroy, A. B., Sanders, L. D., & Dasgupta, N. (2021). Anger, race, and the neurocognition of threat: Attention, inhibition, and error processing during a weapon identification task. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-021-00342-w

Responding to Peer 2

Hello,

I agree that video game representations of masculinity displaying men engaging in violent acts such as killing characters have impacted the rise of violent masculinity in society. According to Dolan (2019), playing violent games endorses traditional masculine norms related to toughness, aggression, restrictive emotionality, and dominance among female and male gamers. Therefore, some females learn to accept violent masculinity because they have an impression that toughness and violence are part of being masculine. Conversely, some males believe being harsh and violent is acceptable because it signifies masculinity. This explains the difference in the number of women and men who commit violent crimes such as homicide. Men are more likely to commit violent crimes if they grew up in an environment where violence was acceptable as a form of anger expression, and most women are victims of such crimes because of the misguided assumption that men should be tough.

References

Dolan, E. W. (2019, March 9). Violent video games linked to the endorsement of some traditional masculine roles. PsyPost. https://www.psypost.org/2019/03/violent-video-games-linked-to-the-endorsement-of-some-traditional-masculine-roles-53291#:~:text=Time%20spent%20playing%20violent%20video,both%20male%20and%20female%20gamers.

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Question 


Male Violence and Tragedies in the United States

Male Violence and Tragedies in the United States

peer 1.) The link between male violence and tragedies in the United States are mainly committed by men. Violence is done with the purpose of gaining something. But why is that? Since the beginning of time man has been at the top of the hierarchy in this world/society. Some cultural and structural explanations may include white men in America are born with a sense of aggrieved entitlement, privilege, and a superiority complex because they think they’re owed certain things from society because historically white men have always had certain types of advantages. Their history is rooted in violence. But all men in general can be violent. Anger is not defined by race either. But race and ethnicity play a huge role. Minorities are not given the same opportunities and received harsher punishments for the same crimes. It is a vicious cycle. But how a boy was raised essentially should have some link on how they’d behave as an adult. Other cultural and structural markers for this include peer pressure, priming (school to prison pipeline), socioeconomic status, environment/neighborhood, family dynamics/role models or lack thereof, substance abuse, and so on.

According to this (2014) book they briefly discusses in a nutshell about how a woman cannot raise a boy to be a man, “No one can deny that a woman can show a boy how to be a good person and even instruct him on some stereotypically male projects and tasks. However, there are some things that a male needs a male to teach them” (Seymour, W., et. al. 2014 pg. 21).

In the words revealed on the website fixfamilycourts.com, “Many school shootings are the product of broken homes.”- Also, noted is that, “The strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison, is that they were raised by a single parent, with 72% of juvenile murderers, and 60% of rapists came from single mother homes.” (fixfamilycourts.com 2023)

References

2023 Fix Family Courts. Copyright 2013. https://www.fixfamilycourts.com/single-mother-home-statistics/#top – Website. (retrieved September 10, 2023)

Seymour, W., Smith, R., & Torres, H. (2014). The Masculinity Developmental Hierarchy. In Building a Better Man (pp. 51–70). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315886152-9

peer 2.) Violent masculinity, or commonly (inaccurately) referred to as toxic masculinity, is a concept that has been highlighted more frequently in mainstream media in recent years. Violent masculinity is the idea that violence, aggression, anger, and other similar behaviors are synonymous with being a man (American Psychological Association, 2018). In the TED talk Violence against women – it’s a men’s issue (Katz, 2012), Jackson Katz highlights how it has become a social norm to victim blame, constantly assessing the situational or dispositional factors of the victim namely when a woman comes forward reporting violence from a man, rather than assessing more of the dispositional or situational factors that these men have ingrained within them due to family or societal teachings and representations.

One article (Bell et al., 2015) analyzes the culture of violent masculinity explored in the educational film Tough Guise 2: Violence, Manhood, and American Culture by Jackson Katz (Katz et al., 2013). They touch on several extremely relevant topics promoting violent masculinity in today’s world. Video game representation of masculinity – such as war games, games with the intent to kill characters, and other displays of violence, have a large male representation of characters, appealing more to a young male audience. This impresses upon an already impressionable group of young males that violence and aggression are displays of masculine qualities.

Another example is the role pornography plays in depicting violent masculinity. Access to pornography is easier than ever, and at increasingly younger ages due to many children now having access to smart phones, tablets, and computers. This creates an unrealistic representation of sexual situations that may be difficult for some children to understand, especially at very young, impressionable ages. Parents may not be aware that their children are even looking at this type of material, so they may not be having these open conversations about healthy representations of sexuality and masculinity.

The disproportionate ratio of homicides and other similar violent crimes being committed by males is another example of violent masculinity. The article (Bell et al., 2015) and film (Katz et al., 2013) touch on biological explanations for this – such as males typically being the hunters, providers, protectors, and having hormonal influences like testosterone driving their moods and actions, but yet this allows violent masculinity to be explained away by superficial factors, and fails to dive into deeper factors such as mental health struggles, pressure to keep things bottled in, feeling unable to show softer emotion, fear of being labeled or ridiculed for not fitting into standards defined by society.

I think that, especially in today’s extremely connected world, we need to shift the representation and conversations we are having with males. Parents or caretakers of young males are at a unique advantage to monitor habits and open topics of conversation to positively influence and redirect these young men to a more holistic standard of masculinity. They should be allowed to feel a broader range of emotions, express more of their thoughts and actions, and connect with other positive influences – especially male role models, and hopefully thereby decreasing the pressure they feel to be defined by these unhealthy standards of masculinity.

References

American Psychological Association. (2018). How to prevent harmful masculinity and violence. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/topics/men-boys/harmful-masculinity

Katz, J. (2012) Violence against women – it’s a men’s issue [Video]. TED Conferences. https://www.ted.com/talks/jackson_katz_violence_against_women_it_s_a_men_s_issue?language=en

Bell, M., & Bayliss, N. (2015). The Tough Guise: Teaching Violent Masculinity as the Only Way to Be a Man: Tough Guise 2: Violence, Manhood and American Culture. Created by Jackson Katz, directed and produced by Jeremy Earp, executive produced by Sut Jhally, Northampton, Mass., Media Education Foundation, 2013. 78 minutes $295.00 (University Price). ISBN:1-932869-91-3 www.mediaed.org. Sex Roles, 72(11-12), 566–568. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-015-0479-8

Katz, J., Earp, J., & Rabinovitz, D. (2013). Tough guise 2: Violence, manhood & American culture. Media Education Foundation.

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