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The Effect of Masculinity Ideology in Relationship Satisfaction: The Moderating Role of Conflict Relationship Styles

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The Effect of Non-Traditional Masculinity Ideology on Relationship Satisfaction: The Moderating Role of Conflict Resolution Style

Marianne Caren C. Almazar

Clarissee G. Vidal

Audrey B. Isidro

Ria Clarize M. Reyes

Bulacan State University


The Effect of Non-Traditional Masculinity Ideology on Relationship Satisfaction: The Moderating Role of Conflict Resolution Style

       For generations, the gender role stereotype among the family has been the same: the father could be a merited pillar of family and he has responsibility to be a wage earner by going bent on work to create cash instead of staying at home as a house-husband. Also, a father who works for financial reason may be seen as making sacrifices for his family and is therefore rated as being relatively high in communality (Riggs, 1997).  However, over the past few decades, the traditional role stereotypes of family has been mostly modified to the purpose that an increasing range of men prefer to be stay-at-home fathers rather than being breadwinners. In addition, being the breadwinner or good provider was seen to be the most important aspect of men’s family responsibilities (Siraj, 2010). The stay-at-home father trend is that the father each takes on the role of primary caregiver for kids and plays a significant part in running the house. Though stay-at-home fathers have bestowed a new perspective on the stereotype of family, some objectors who have satirized the stay-at-some father phenomenon claim that, despite a new awareness regarding full-time fathers, stay-at-home fathers are still unacceptable for the majority of general public because men must work to keep this masculine control and dominance in place (Gardiner 2004) including the gay men are rendered ambiguous in this term. Attributable to this the stay-at-home father trend is the difficulties in replacing the traditional family stereotype of gender roles. Thus, this trend may cause an effect to the masculinity ideology of the stay-at-home fathers.

       Pleck, Sonenstein and Ku (1993) introduced masculinity ideology as beliefs about the importance of men pertaining to culturally outlined standards of male behavior (as cited in Chu, Porche and Tolman, 2005).  Same as to women’s, they claimed that they were equal to men, as men describe themselves (Gardiner 2004). This embodies prescriptions for ways to act, attitudes to carry, and ways to look. It additionally includes prescriptions for ways not to act, attitudes not to hold, and ways that not to present himself. Men are not just shown how to be but also how not to be. That is, masculinity is defined as much by what it is as by what it is not. What masculinity isn’t emotional, weak, naïve, or gullible, in keeping with analysis on gender stereotypes (Prentice & Carranza, 2002). Thus, men with non-traditionally masculine characteristics or roles ought to suffer for not fulfilling ancient masculinity. Moreover, the masculine stereotype isn't expected to alter within the future (Diekman & Eagly, 2000; Diekman & Goodfriend, 2006). Therefore, with additional positive evaluations for the matching of characteristics and role, masculine men are expected to be viewed additional absolutely than feminine men in a masculine role, and  men are expected to be viewed more completely than masculine men in a feminine role.

       Relationship satisfaction is defined as an interpersonal evaluation of the positivity of feelings for one’s partner and attraction to the relationship. Men in relationship satisfaction may involve reassessment of values like being settled into a long term relationships, like gay partnership and into fatherhood (Robertson 2008).

       With this non-traditional trend, conflict between partners may arise at any time. So it depends on how the couple utilizes conflict resolution styles. There are many different ways on how to respond to conflict situations. In this present research, the researchers will test the moderating role of conflict resolution style to the effect of non-traditional masculinity ideology on relationship satisfaction.

Nontraditional Masculinity Ideology as Against Social Role Norms

       As defined by Pleck (1993), masculinity ideology is an internalization of a man’s culturally defined standards. Having cultural standards automatically require us to conform within the group we try to belong. As human beings develop and learn how to process external stimuli, these messages are processed, interpreted, and incorporated into one’s internal schemas (Beck, 1975). These cognitive schemas inform them as to how they “should” and “ought” to act and think which are influenced by the individual’s early life experiences that continually shape and reinforce these schemas (Mahalik , Locke, Theodore & Cournoyer, 2001). With these schemas they build stereotypes that we usually acquire, Pleck (1981) and further added that these stereotypes prescribe how individuals should act, thus facilitating individual comparison among one another.

       Changes in prominent social trends lead to “different expectations and beliefs about the roles of fathers” (Cabrera et al., 2000, p.132). This shows that such phenomenon against gender role in the society is present. The accepted culture of masculinity within the United States is concentrated on career success and skill to perform as the family “breadwinner”. Although the tides have shifted over the past generation, these stereotypes endure, creating it psychologically difficult for men to give up the aspiration to be the “provider” for his family (Doucet, 2009). Stay-at-home fathers are a rapidly growing demographic in the United States. As to which this shows nontraditional masculinity ideology. Most of the previous studies have explored the aspects of this nontraditional masculinity. Though the literatures reviewed stated that most of the studies meddled with the women’s perspective in her new duty of being the breadwinner, there are studies that explored the perspective of male, stay-at-home fathers is said to be an area that is still ripe for more research (Fischer & Anderson, 2012).

       Based on this definitions of masculinity as defined by different scholars, a study conducted by Brescoll and Uhlmann (2005), in which they have supported that examinations of the attitudes toward traditional and nontraditional parents, wherein their hypotheses that people hold more negative attitudes toward this nontraditional parents than the traditional parents is presumably because there is violation against stereotypic gender role prescriptions was proved. It may be because of the expectations that men are to be physically strong and masculine, and able to solve their own emotional problems and they can avoid showing their vulnerability (Burn, 2008). Likewise, because of these expectations they have built and acquired role in the society that they belong and what they are accounted to be.

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