This masculinity “script” still embraced by older men was outlined as the four-part Blueprint of Manhood, first published by sociologist Robert Brannon when the men in the studies were entering adulthood in the 1970's. The blueprint included:
No Sissy Stuff – men are to avoid being feminine, show no weaknesses and hide intimate aspects of their lives.
The Big Wheel – men must gain and retain respect and power and are expected to seek success in all they do.
The Sturdy Oak – men are to be ''the strong, silent type” by projecting an air of confidence and remaining calm no matter what.
Give 'em Hell – men are to be tough, adventurous, never give up and live life on the edge.
“We're all aging; it's a fact of life. But as men age, they're unable to be who they were, and that creates a dissonance that is hard to reconcile,” said Langendoerfer, who studies aging in men. “We need to better understand how older men adapt to their stressors—high suicide rates, emotions they stifle, avoiding the doctor—to hopefully help them build better lives in older age,” she said. The review, published in the journal Men and Masculinities, was co-written by Edward Thompson Jr., an emeritus professor of sociology and anthropology at the College of the Holy Cross and now an affiliate of the Department of Sociology at Case Western Reserve.