An investigation into the relationship between masculinity, cultural worldviews and societal risk perceptions in a sample of school-going boys
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This study investigated the relationship between masculinity, cultural worldviews, and societal risk perceptions in a sample of school-going boys between the ages of 17 and 18 years old. The main objective was to examine the nature of the relationship between these variables of interest with the purpose of gaining insight into the type of societal risks that are of most concern and those risks that are rejected by males conforming to traditional masculine norms. Furthermore, this study compared the pattern of societal risk perceptions held by males conforming to the traditional masculinity type with the risk perceptions of males adhering to the accommodating and progressive masculinity types. This study also attempted to identify the type of cultural worldviews that were held by individuals adhering to traditional masculine norms and values. One hundred and fifty seven adolescent boys participated in the study and were given two questionnaires and two psychometric scales to complete. The findings of this study showed that males embracing traditional masculine norms and values were more likely to endorse hierarchical and individualist worldviews and to be less concerned about a variety of societal risks and the impact these posed for the South African public. In contrast, participants conforming to progressive masculine norms were more likely to be risk sensitive, showing heightened concern for the negative impact of a number of societal risks on the South African public. In accordance with cultural theory of risk, the risk ideologies upheld by each of the masculinity types were found to be functional in the sense that they supported the core values and agenda of that masculinity type.