The nuclear family is traditionally defined as a unit composed of a husband and wife and their biological children, all working together to perform changing economic and emotional functions. The nuclear family has historically been tied to American masculinity by serving as a measure of an adult man's social achievements, by potentially offering emotional support to men, and by serving as the setting in which young boys are nurtured and first learn gender roles. As expectations for the family have changed, the role of men within the family has evolved, impacting the construction and health of American masculinity. Across these varying definitions of family, a man's position as the head of the household continues to be one marker of successful manhood and a stable society.

The ...

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