Decades ago, the emergence of feminist psychology upended the old order by redefining sex and gender. Soon thereafter, scholars such as Ronald F. Levant recognized the importance of doing a similar critical analysis for men. Now, years later, the psychology of men and masculinities is a thriving, growing field illuminating the impact of sex and gender on the lives of men.

This highly anticipated volume shows how far the field has advanced and what directions it is taking. It explains and evaluates major theories, research, and applications. In particular, the volume addresses the gender role strain paradigm — an empirical, feminist, quantitative, and social constructionist approach — as well as the critical discursive qualitative approach popular outside of the United States.

The chapters also synthesize research on men's mental and physical health, including depression, help-seeking, stigma, body image, and the health effects of performing masculinity. Special attention is given to ethnic, racial, and sexual minority men.

Finally, the book surveys the growing body of work on therapeutic and preventive mental health interventions for men, as well as programs aimed at men's violence, substance use, and lack of self-care.

With such broad and inclusive coverage, this volume will be a standard reference for researchers and practitioners in this field and an essential part of university courses on men and masculinities.

Table of Contents


Foreword: A Brief History of the Psychology of Men and Masculinities
Joseph H. Pleck


Introduction: Maturation of the Psychology of Men and Masculinities
Ronald F. Levant and Y. Joel Wong

I. Gender Role Strain Paradigm and Related Theories

  1. The Gender Role Strain Paradigm
    Ronald F. Levant and Wizdom A. Powell
  2. Masculinity Ideologies
    Edward H. Thompson, Jr. and Kate M. Bennett
  3. Masculinity as a Heuristic: Gender Role Conflict Theory, Superorganisms, and System-Level Thinking
    James M. O'Neil, Stephen R. Wester, Martin Heesacker, and Steven J. Snowden
  4. A Critical Discursive Approach to Studying Masculinities
    Sarah Seymour-Smith
  5. A Review of Selected Theoretical Perspectives and Research in the Psychology of Men and Masculinities
    Anthony J. Isacco and Jay C. Wade

II. Men's Mental and Physical Health

  1. Men's Depression and Help-Seeking Through the Lenses of Gender
    Michael E. Addis and Ethan Hoffman
  2. A Review of Research on Men's Physical Health
    Brendan Gough and Steve Robertson
  3. A Review of Research on Men's Body Image and Drive for Muscularity
    Sarah K. Murnen and Bryan T. Karazsia

III. Ethnic, Racial, and Sexual Minority Men

  1. The Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Masculinities: Progress, Problems, and Prospects
    Y. Joel Wong, Tao Liu, and Elyssa M. Klann
  2. Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Masculinities
    Mike C. Parent and Tyler C. Bradstreet

IV. Implications for Practice

  1. Counseling, Psychotherapy, and Psychological Interventions for Boys and Men
    Gary R. Brooks
  2. Dysfunction Strain and Intervention Programs Aimed at Men's Violence, Substance Use, and Help-Seeking Behaviors
    Christopher T. H. Liang, Carin Molenaar, Christina Hermann, and Louis A. Rivera

V. Conclusion

Conclusion: Addressing Controversies and Unresolved Questions in the Psychology of Men and Masculinities
Y. Joel Wong and Ronald F. Levant


About the Editors

Editor Bios

Ronald F. Levant, EdD, ABPP, earned his doctorate in clinical psychology and public practice from Harvard University.

He served on the faculties of Boston University, Rutgers University, Harvard Medical School at The Cambridge Hospital, and as dean and professor, Center for Psychological Studies, Nova Southeastern University. He is currently a professor of psychology at the University of Akron, where he served for 4 years as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Levant has authored, coauthored, edited, or coedited 16 books and more than 200 peer-refereed journal articles and book chapters in gender and family psychology and in advancing professional psychology.

Dr. Levant has held various leadership roles in APA. He served as president of APA Division 43 (Society for Couple and Family Psychology), as editor of the Journal of Family Psychology, and as associate editor for Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.

He also chaired the APA Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice for two terms and served two 3-year terms on the APA Council of Representatives. After that, he served 12 years on the APA Board of Directors as an at-large member for one term, two terms as APA recording secretary, and as the 2005 APA president.

Dr. Levant has been one of the leading pioneers of the new field of the psychology of men and masculinities. He played a key role in the late 1980s and early 1990s in envisioning and developing this new field, serving as the cofounder, cochair, and the first president of APA Division 51 (Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity).

He coedited A New Psychology of Men (1995), which has been cited as "the most salient publication" in the new psychology of men. He served as editor of Psychology of Men & Masculinity for more than half of its 15 years of existence, which had an Impact Factor of 2.947 in the final year of his editorship (2015).

Finally, he has developed theory and conducted research on fathering, gender role strain, masculinity ideologies, and normative male alexithymia.

Dr. Levant's work in the psychology of men and masculinities was recognized in 2011, when he was awarded the APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research.

Y. Joel Wong, PhD, is an associate professor in the APA-accredited Counseling Psychology Program at Indiana University.

Dr. Wong obtained his PhD in counseling psychology from the University Texas at Austin and completed his APA-accredited internship at the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center.

He is a fellow of APA (Division 17 [Society of Counseling Psychology]; Division 45 [Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race]; and Division 51 [Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity]) and of the Asian American Psychological Association.

Dr. Wong has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He also coedited the APA Handbook of Men and Masculinities.

His research interests are in the psychology of men and masculinities, Asian American mental health, and positive psychology. With regard to the psychology of men and masculinities, he has studied the intersection of race and gender and its implications for men of color as well as men's emotional lives.

Dr. Wong's current research interests in masculinities address basic theoretical conceptualizations of masculinities as well as how diverse meanings of masculinities can be operationalized and measured.

Together with his colleagues, Dr. Wong helped to develop the following masculinities-related measures: the Subjective Masculinity Stress Scale, the Inventory of Subjective Masculinity Experiences, the Measure of Men's Perceived Inexpressiveness Norms, the Masculinity Contingency Scale, and the African American Men's Gendered Racism Inventory.

Dr. Wong is an associate editor of two APA journals, Psychology of Men & Masculinity and the Journal of Counseling Psychology.

He has also received several awards for his research, including the Researcher of the Year Award from APA's Division 51, the Best in Science Address from APA's Division 17, the Shane J. Lopez Award for Professional Contributions in Positive Psychology from APA Division 17's Positive Psychology Section, the Emerging Professional Contributions to Research Award from APA's Division 45, and the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research from the Asian American Psychological Association.

Reviews & Awards

This should be the go-to book for anyone interested in the science of manhood and masculinity. The chapters, by some of the top scholars who shaped the field, trace manhood/masculinity research from its intellectual roots to its future possibilities.
—Joseph Vandello, PhD
Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa

This book details the enormous progress made in providing a strong theoretical and empirical base for the psychology of men and masculinities and the enormous work that still needs to be done. Leading theorists and researchers provide comprehensive, in-depth reviews and critiques of their work. In so doing, they also provide valuable roadmaps for students and professionals interested in this highly complex area. Students, in particular, will have the tools they need to further advance the field vis-à-vis theory, research, and practice.
—Lucia Albino Gilbert, PhD
Professor Emerita, The University of Texas at Austin; Provost and Professor Emerita, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA

A valuable resource that offers novel insights. With vivid illustrations in the daily news of hypermasculinity run amok among politicians, CEOs, and professional athletes (to name a few), this book provides a scientific perspective that is both timely and illuminating of men's unique struggles in the modern age.