Photography featured in University of Toronto Research Revealed

In 2021, media images of men still conform too many dominant and prescriptive stereotypes of men as strong, in control and aggressive. Research has shown these dominant representations are limiting to many men as they feel they have to live up to unrealistic ideals. Part of my research in the sociological field of gender and sexuality has been to look at men’s relationship to their interpersonal experiences and their reactions to feelings of vulnerability and intimacy throughout their lives. Many men I have spoken to during my research have said there was a lack of role models and cultural images of men being both masculine and also being able to express vulnerability. Successful performances of masculinity can thus be thought of as antithetical to intimacy and emotional expression. This means some men can struggle to form close and fulfilling relationships with friends, family, partners, and colleagues leading to feelings of alienation.  I think we, as a society, are moving more towards greater representation of diverse bodies, gender presentations, and sexualities and this image, as part of a series, is informed by my research that attempts to showcase men in less stereotypical ways and highlight that vulnerability need not be gender-specific.

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