“The Sexual Sociology of Adult Life from The Reproduction of Mothering:Psychoanalysis and the sociology of Gender” by Nancy Chodorow presents the theory of gender roles and development by the basis of beginning with the mother as role model for males and females. Chodorow explains that mother is the first teacher and “being feminine [is] more available”, and through her teachings females learn how to be woman, while “A boy, must distinguish and differentiate himself from others in a way that a girl need not.” A females readily identify with the mother and build their identity by mimicking the example of the mother. Males that have a working father or an absent father after learning how to be woman from the mother must then learn how to be men and this is done by defining masculinity by that which is not feminine. The male learns this from short periods of time spent with a working father or by “a positive affective relationship to a person who is there.”
The effects of males striving for the non-femanine he is”taught to be masculine more consciously than girls are taught to be feminine.” Masculinity stresses being different that female/ feminine, “whereas females tend to identify with aspects of their own mothers role specifically.”
Males not having a specific role model as females idealize and fantasize what masculinity should be, “whereas femininity and feminine role remain for a girl…real and concrete.”
Males in attempting to find themselves place importance on societal differences, separating different social activities as feminine and masculine. Through the use of Freud, Chodorow explains that the male view of females as the lesser sex has become “what we (society) have come to consider the normal male contempt for woman.”
Through this article the overexertion of masculinity in society is from the male attempting to find himself. While the mother is a role model she is not able to teach a male how to be masculine. How males are taught to be masculine can be seen as a shock to him by making him negate all that he has learned.