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March 27, 1996

A New Psychology of Men

Author Affiliations

Cornell University Medical College New York, NY
State University of New York at Stony Brook

JAMA. 1996;275(12):952. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530360062041

This volume provides a multiauthored synopsis of the current state of profeminist academic men's studies, primarily from a psychological perspective. The chapters are divided among four sections: theory, research, applications, and varieties of masculinity. The last includes ethnic subcultures, cross-cultural comparisons, and forms of homosexuality and bisexuality.

An important theory underlying much of the work is Joseph Pleck's gender role strain paradigm, which emphasizes the conflicts and stresses inherent in gender stereotyping and traditional cultural expectations of men, although pointedly ignoring any benefits therein. The theory posits multiple implications for normal and abnormal male psychology, including effects on development of self-esteem, levels of anxiety, traumatic experience of nonconformity to male stereotypes, and development of dysfunction and psychopathology.

The chapter by William Pollack is an effort to update psychoanalytic theories of human development taking feminist and new male psychology into account. It is among the more in-depth and balanced in the