The Relationship Between Catholic Men and How They View and Practice Masculinity
Men are entering college spaces with the assumption that they have to model their behavior in a specific way. Their gender identity is attached to a set of masculine norms and expectations that influences their interpersonal relationship as well as how they perceive themselves. Recognizing that masculinity is a nuanced phenomenon and intersects with many dimensions of identity, this qualitative study is focused on the role of the Catholic faith and its influence on masculine behavior. Current studies addressed other dimensions of masculinity, but religion specifically Catholicism was limited. This study’s purpose is to unveil male narratives from the Catholic community. Nine Catholic men were interviewed to share their narratives and perspectives on masculinity and how they navigated the gender expectations as well as their own faith in the context of a Catholic institution. They described their perspective on what masculinity means on the societal level, what masculinity personally looks like to them in their faith, and how the university context influences their understanding of masculine norms. The themes discovered from the men’s narrative were a deep understanding of self, reflection, prior experience practicing vulnerability, and a belief in loving others as Christ did. These men desired and were prepared for more in-depth conversations. Vulnerability was the norm in their community but found that men outside of their immediate group struggled to do so. Given the context of a Catholic institution, understanding that these men of faith have the capacity to engage in complex topics and look to engage other men in the conversations can prove useful in addressing masculinity. Utilizing other male peers to address the issue through both the lens of faith and beyond can create multiple safe spaces across campus.
Graham F. Hunter
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, student affairs, School of Education and Health Sciences
"The Relationship Between Catholic Men and How They View and Practice Masculinity" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 1947.