Men and masculinity in men's magazines: a review

Andrea Waling*, Duane Duncan, Steven Angelides, Gary W. Dowsett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This review article provides a thematic synthesis and overview of 30 years of research into the study of men and masculinity in men's magazines. Over 100 articles, book chapters, and books were reviewed to explore how scholars have approached the study of masculinity in such magazines and identify four major areas of inquiry: the commodification of masculinity; the relationship between sexism and misogyny in men's magazines and men's attitudes towards women; the vulnerability of men to, and the role of magazines in the construction of, men's body image anxieties; and the increasing sexualisation of men's bodies. The strengths and potential limitations of these four thematic approaches are identified, including an insufficiently nuanced account of the ways in which men might actually engage with images and ideas about masculinity in such magazines; an overly singular view of male sexuality that naturalises sexist and predatory behaviour; and an overemphasis on men's bodies as sites of vulnerability, risk, or crisis at the expense of more substantive considerations of the relationship between the representation of body modification practices and technologies, and men's embodied identities. The review concludes with an overview of the present field and some suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12593
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


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