Men. Roots and Consequences of Masculinity Norms
52 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2018 Last revised: 29 Oct 2020
Date Written: October 27, 2020
We document the historical roots and contemporary consequences of masculinity norms: beliefs about the proper conduct of men. We exploit a natural experiment in which convict transportation in the 18th and 19th centuries created a variegated spatial pattern of sex ratios across Australia. Areas that were heavily male-biased in the past (though not the present) remain characterized by more violence, male suicide, occupational gender segregation, opposition to same-sex marriage, and bullying of boys in schools. We interpret these results as manifestations of masculinity norms that emerged due to intense local male-male competition and that have persisted to this day.
Keywords: Masculinity, sex ratio, natural experiment, cultural persistence
JEL Classification: I31, J12, J16, N37, Z13
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