Although men are capable of the same emotional range as women, emotional expression has been distinctly gendered in Western society, particularly in the United States. In Western concepts of masculinity, emotional control has been considered central to manhood and necessary to social order, while emotion has been framed as an explosive “natural” force that can be rendered uncontrollable by feminine influences. Therefore, attempts to determine allowable expressions of emotion have characterized debates on manhood since the times of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Although firm control of one's emotion has usually been considered essential to manliness, occasional violent outbursts have been tolerated as expected and forgivable releases from the emotional restraints imposed on men.

European Roots and Colonial America

American attitudes toward emotion have followed the ideals of ...

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