ethnic bearded man with prayer beads near rough temple wall

What is precarious manhood?

Precarious manhood refers to the fragile nature of traditional masculinity.

Traditional masculinity, as a form of social status, is more easily threatened than femininity. It is more insecure and precarious, and not easy to achieve or maintain.

Manhood is “hard-won and easily lost.” A real man cannot simply be: He must repeatedly prove his masculinity.

In the US, Knowles and DiMuccio note, masculinity is linked with behaviors like “avoiding the appearance of femininity and homosexuality, seeking status and achievement, evincing independence and confidence, taking risks, and being aggressive.”

And threats to (or doubts about) masculinity often motivate hypermasculine behaviors, such as risk-taking and aggression.