Real Men Feel: Ep. 276, Gender Role Socialization | How Men Learn To Be Men

October 21, 2022

Gender Role Socialization | How Men Learn To Be Men Episode 276, October 21, 2022

Real Men Feel hosts conversations that most men aren’t having but that all men can benefit from. Today we explore the ways we learn how to be men. Much of that comes from a life-long socialization process, specifically gender role socialization.

My guest Dr. Bill DeFranc is a licensed psychologist who has worked in schools, hospitals, group practices, and college counseling centers and had a parenting consulting business. He was an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and has published research on men’s gender role socialization.

We discuss the positive and negative outcomes of gender role socialization and why men often hold themselves to a more rigid definition of manliness. Bill shares how his research impacted his being a father and the one thing he wishes more men knew.

“If you can’t see shades of grey, it’s going to be a problem.”

Dr. Bill DeFranc

Topics and Questions

  • 0:55 – What is gender role socialization?
  • 1:31 – What are some common ways that men are socialized?
  • 2:43 – Does socialization ever stop?
  • 3:34 – Is it difficult to go against your gender socialization?
  • 5:57 – What are some problematic issues for me?
  • 8:22 – What are some beneficial outcomes of gender role socialization for men?
  • 11:12 – Is age a significant factor in the impact of receiving gender role messages?
  • 12:13 – What is toxic masculinity? 
  • 14:14 – What is gender role conflict?
  • 15:08 – What got you interested in this?
  • 17:08 – Did anything surprise you in your research?
  • 18:33 – How did that research affect you as a father?
  • 22:11 – Is it each generation’s job to push back at their socialization?
  • 24:30 – Do you have advice for parents raising boys?
  • 28:08 – What issues are you seeing in male clients?
  • 31:05 – Who had the most significant impact on you learning what it means to be a man? 
  • 32:54 – Did attending an all-male school give you a more rigid version of masculinity or a more expanded one?
  • 34:55 – What is one thing you wish more men knew?
  • 36:17 – What’s the best way to find out more about you? 

Listen in to discover the most common issues Dr. DeFranc sees in clients related to men’s gender role conflict and the shame it can create.


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