“Manhood is the defeat of Childhood narcissism.” At birth, our biological identity is firmly established and preserved in our genetic code. Within our genes, our gender, predisposition to certain illnesses, inclinations etc., are repressed, waiting to be stimulated by the variables in our society. It is not difficult for anyone to reasonably conclude therefore, that the idea of Masculinity is fundamentally defined by our biological composition but secondarily refined within our psycho-sociological spaces. Like our identity, the concept of masculinity remains a complex blend of biology, theology, sociology and psychology.
The Biology of Masculinity.
The United States’ National Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBT, in a research publication in February 2016 entitled “How Early Hormones Shape Gender Development” stated the following; “Increasing evidence confirms that prenatal androgens have facilitative effects on male-typed activity interests and engagement (including child toy preferences and adult careers), and spatial abilities, but relatively minimal effects on gender identity.” This may seem rather complex and somewhat abstract but we will be breaking this information down so it can be understood.
“Prenatal androgens” are chemicals in the body called hormones, which are involved with determining whether a developing baby becomes a male or female. The study done by the NCBT was aimed at observing possible connections between the sex-linked hormones and certain behaviours, typically observed predominantly in men or women. Behavioural tendencies such as type of toys preferred, being exceptionally good with Math and Science etc, are seemingly linked to one’s gender. The NCBT study went on to state; “Confidence has increased that early androgens affect gender development, in light of recent studies that confirm, extend, and clarify previous findings. Most promising, research has moved from asking whether hormones influence human behavior to asking how they do so.” Scientific investigations are no longer questioning “whether hormones influence human behavior” but are now concerned with the means through which they do so.
The point I wish to establish, based on the scientific data presented is simply that the distinction between male and female is inherently a fact of our biological existence. We are programmed biologically to exist and function differently in connection to reality. The Biology of Masculinity essentially defines how a male’s body is organized to identify and establish his sexuality, defines his biological function and positions his purpose.
In our next study we will continue our definition of Masculinity by looking at “The Theology of Masculinity.”