Why do men behave the way they do? The "science" of gender studies is less than 25 years old and it is only recently that scholars and popular authors interested in gender have started to examine the issues associated with masculinity.; This text is based on over 10 years research, and constructs a comprehensive theory of masculinity by exploring in great detail how men form their gender identities and how those identities influence their behaviour. The book examines the influence of 24 male messages, or gender norms - such as "be like your father", "faithful husband", "superman", and "nurturer" - that represent cultural expectations for masculinity in western societies. Drawing on a diverse sample of over 500 men from different classes, backgrounds, races and ethnic groups, the author describes how men learn these messages, how individual men respond to them, and how their influence changes over the course of a man's life.; This accessible text presents a general framework for masculinity and breaks new ground in understanding the construction of male gender identity.