Influential media: insight into the college male's perspective on masculinity
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Masculinity is an important element of male identity, as well as an increasing topic of media interest. Although masculinity exists in many forms, simply one dominant form is focused upon throughout society (Smiler, 2006). The media's masculine messages emphasize violence, aggression, and emotional restraint (Soulliere, 2006). Furthermore, the avoidance of feminine traits increases the likelihood males will partake in activities which objectify, control, and abuse women (Kivel & Johnson, 2009). Statistics have shown that one in every four women will experience domestic violence within her lifetime (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2007). The central research question in this study was "What is the college male perspective on contemporary masculinity in relation to media influences?" We predicted that there would be a correlation between responding strongly to the survey statements I learn about what a "real man' is from media sources (RMM) and I apply media messages about masculinity to my life (AMM) and to the survey statements which refer to masculine characteristics depicted within media messages.The study's findings were supported within the literature, that is, masculinity can be influenced by social aspects including media messages. Survey data was statistically analyzed using descriptive statistics: frequencies, mean comparisons and correlations as well as Cronbach's Alpha reliability analysis. Implications for practitioners, health educators, and males in general will focus on bringing awareness to the negative influences of the media as well as exposing males to alternative forms of masculinity. Future research would benefit from a random, large, national sample.