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Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm

Lifestyles

Guy Code: Reality or Fiction at the University

guy_codeSo the cat is out of the bag. The MTV hit show, “Guy Code” has revealed every male secret… or have they? The show examines multiple facets of the lifestyle for a mid-20s male college student but how true are these stereotypes in relationship to MU students? Take a second and think. How do you associate college males at the University when it comes to rela­tionships and love, sports, or how they spend their money? These three topics will be looked at and classic stereotypes will be con­firmed or will be removed from “the code.”

Johanna Foster, instructor of sociology, believes that there is too much weight put on certain aspects of a male’s lifestyle. “On top of that underlying taboo in the culture of hegemonic masculin­ity is the overvaluing of wealth, power and prestige as primary signs of appropriate manhood, and the willingness to use, or at least unequivocally support, the use of aggression and violence in order to achieve those culturally prescribed goals,” she said.

1.) Relationships

Relationships are difficult for anyone, but college men are por­trayed as solely partyers and are expected to be having sex with as many people as possible, accord­ing to Dr. Deanna Shoemaker, associate professor of communi­cation. But as Dr. Jack Demar­est, professor of psychology at the University, said it is more about competition when it comes to re­lationships, which may be why college men are shown as to only view women as sexual objects.

“Mothers tell their daughters to find a lawyer or a doctor to marry; they never brag that their daugh­ter is dating a garbage man. Boys and men may objectify girls as sex objects, but girls and women ob­jectify boys as status and success objects. The winds that govern same sex friendships, romance and career choices, like sports, are formed initially by competition between guys but they blow most forcefully by this competition be­tween the sexes,” said Demarest.

Samuel May­nard, junior po­litical science major, believes that there are no real “differ­ences” when it comes to each gender and their relationships, but it is used as a topic of exploitation by certain media outlets.

“There is no inherent difference in the way men and women deal with relationships, only social­ized myths that are projected on individuals in our highly stratified and misogynistic society,” said Maynard.

Maynard also said that these roles that have been placed on re­lationships seek only to keep male dominance in relationships.

2.) Sports

Some men treat Super Bowl Sunday as the second coming of Christ. Some men wait all year for their company’s softball league to start up again. So what appeals to men about sports?

Sophomore political science major Dominick Mascitelli said that men view sports as an oppor­tunity to bond more than anything else. Mascitelli explained, “It’s the epitome of competition be­tween teams, and bragging rights and possibly money if bets have been placed. Throwing around a football bonds friend together in a way that’s inexplicable.”

Demarest explains that men are very competitive in general, not just with sports. “As we age, we find that sports provide an oppor­tunity to bond with other boys/ guys even as we also learn not to get too close or express too much of our emotions (with the excep­tion of anger/aggression) among other guys,” said Demarest.

Mascitelli said that he believes there are three rules to participat­ing in sports. “You got to heckle your friends if his team is losing, in good taste. Know your facts/ stats when debates come up and keep it friendly, don’t make things personal,” said Mascitelli.

Maynard believes that men and sports are another stereotype that may not be necessarily true. “Men act this way because society says they should in order to exercise privilege,” he said.

Ryan Kinghorn, sophomore health and physical education ma­jor, said that men are not the only ones who get into sports. “I know some girls who are die hard [fans] that will be yelling at the televi­sion more than I will at times dur­ing the game,” said Kinghorn.

3.) Money

Money seems to be an object that no one, men or women, seem to have enough of these days, es­pecially with the state of the econ­omy. So what do men spend their money on?

Demarest said that men are of­ten judged on what they earn and how financially secure they are. “Girls are taught they have economic choices, boys are taught they have finan­cial obligations. Consciously or unconsciously, we learn that we are evaluated by so­ciety and, especially, by desirable females as interchangeable ‘suc­cess objects,’” said Demarest.

Even though “Guy Code” can be fun, it can also be dangerous. Shoemaker warns about the pos­sible negative effects, some of which are encouraging sexual assault of women, alcohol poi­soning, intense social pressure around sports, bullying, among others.

“While ‘Guy Code’ uses very talented comedians to poke fun at gender stereotypes, the show may also unintentionally reinforce ste­reotypes that don’t serve young men well,” said Shoemaker.

Shoemaker offers her advice to college-aged men of her own. “One: work to resist and break harmful gender stereotypes with critical thinking and by speaking out against harmful stereotypes that demean people. Two: respect young women (and all women) as equals and don’t reduce them to sexual objects (i.e. don’t con­fuse “sexy” with “sexual object”). Three: respect yourself and figure out who you really aspire to be as a man in spite of what popular cul­ture tells you.”

Linda Dinella, assistant profes­sor of psychology, said that each person needs to be treated as an individual, not as a social group. “Men and women are more simi­lar than they are different. We need to respect each person as an individual and not try to force them into an ill-fitting category,” said Dinella.

Demarest agreed that the “code” is more for acceptance than an actual guide. “‘Guy Code’ is just code for how to adapt, fit in, and avoid conflict. It is a set of rules for men and boys when bending the rules is risky and does not get you very far.”

Demarest said that in a chang­ing world, these codes seem to maintain the status quo.

“It stresses and reinforces the very stereotypical limitations that our society has valued for millen­nia for men and for women,” he said. “It is easier to live our lives in a way that does not rock the boat.”

Contact Information

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Monmouth University
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Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
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