Both men and women are experiencing various pressures the moment they are born, the society has different norms and values that they expect these people to follow. As these people grow up they under go the adolescence stage where they are forced to show femininity and masculinity. It has been noted in the book by Murphy that generally young men are aggressive and show forceful attitude as their way of experiencing their masculinity while their counterpart young girls are concerned about their body outlook as a way of showing femininity. At the same time women show tenderness and care towards others as compared to young men.
Ever since man can remember women have been regarded as inferior to men and their roles have evolves slowly. In most societies women have been regarded as wives and mothers and any attempts by a woman to deviate from this roles will be viewed as unfit and un suitable in the society. The book Feminism and masculinities written by Peter F. Murphy narrates the role of men and women as viewed by the society. The book is a clear and courageous voice that addresses the question of feminism in the society because it helps us understand how women are regarded in the Western and other societies and how they live in this society. The book tells us that life of the women living in these societies does not find it easy to make choices because there are a few choices to them. However by presenting the reality about women situations will enable the audience takes necessary steps to uplift status of women and change the society’s view of feminism. Today, women are almost equally to men in almost all aspects. Women are now free to take up activities and positions which were previously dominated by men. And if this position continues to exist it will be no time before the status is achieved.
As Peter Murphy (2000) explained the meaning of masculinity and femininity differs from one culture to another, he further explains that the meaning can as well vary within the same culture as time goes by. Maybe most significant, the meaning will as well differ among various individual within the same group in a given time. Initially, Peter Murphy (2000) had underlined the interrelationships among the definitions of masculinity and femininity and he asserted that definitions of the term masculinity are traditionally reactive to the changing definitions of femininity. The society’s standards of masculinity and femininity clearly exist, but, they might or might not be exhibited in a girl’s individual definition of her femininity or a boy’s individual definition of his masculinity behavior.
Young people create their masculine selves through self-reflection where by other individual mostly, peers schools and parents play a central point. Masculinity has got two aspects: power and quality. Power is determined through an individual’s self-reflection. A young person’s effectiveness and attempt to devote time in his hunt for societal resources of masculinity as well as his capacity to use conductive reserves in his attempts. Peter Murphy (2000) explains that, masculinity is a fundamental organizing feature of an individual. In a recursive procedure, masculinity is the creation of the self as well as an influence of the self. Young people use masculinity to communicate their behaviors. In order to understand the particular post-modern development of young men we have to comprehend the general system of dynamic advancement of an individual.
What the young people learn and internalize the attitudes and expected conduct regarding maleness and femaleness is what is termed as gender. Many social scientists today are using gender to imply these learned behaviors of masculinity and femininity in a society. However, in comparison they apply sex to imply the biological differences among male and female. Differentiating among these two aspects, meaning, what is inherent and what is learnt is useful in learning masculinity and femininity.
It is important to acknowledge the varied pressures and strains that are exerted from the period a child is born whether she is a girl or a boy, and how such pressures impacts the sexual behaviors of these children in their later stages of development. The norms and pressures experienced by male as well as female peer groups vary: the individual psychological as well as physiological desires of male and female differ. The impact and influence of cultural and social aspects on the manner of how a young will convey his/her sexuality can never be undervalued. In addition, there is an obvious gender variation in how sexual experiences are perceived.
Social class as well as educational accomplishment of the young person also plays an important part on sexual development of the young person. Young people who are viewed to come from low social and economic class or those who drop from school without good any qualifications are highly likely o start engaging in sexual activities earlier than others and at the same time, if they are male, there are likely to show a highly rough or aggressive behavior in showing their masculinity tendencies. For these young people the pressure to abide to the social values is huge and it can be very costly for those young people who fail to fit within the society’s values and norms. The desire to abide by the societal norms is specifically strong during the adolescence period. Young men and women usually experience a lot of pressure to become actively involved in sexual activities; they have got misconception in relation to sexual conduct of their peer. This misconception can thus contribute to their problems in negotiating this important stage of life.
According to Peter Murphy young people in some cases indicate that they are constantly afraid or deterred from getting information regarding their sexuality because of being afraid that the confidentiality about the information accessed will be compromised, or that their fear is based on judgmental attitudes from the society. Certain social norms and values also create anxiety and confusion amongst the young people when it comes to sexual activities. In cases where the young people are able to access sexual information or services, it is important that the professional provide this assistance with lots clarity so that they do not further confuse these young people.
A positive behavior in regard to young people’s sexual attitudes is a fundamental aspect in promoting positive sexual activities among the young people. Young people should feel comfortable and at the same time be assured concerning the changes that are related with adolescence and the impact of these changes to their relationships as well as to their emotions. The young people ought to have accurate information about what is safer sex and at the same time develop and enhance personal abilities and confidence in order to negotiate and control sexual relationships (Murphy, 2000). They should as well be able to resist pressures that are brought by adolescence.