Masculinityhas undergone some transformation especially since the nineteenthcentury. The transformation touched on a number of factors such asmen’s bodies. During the nineteenth century, manhood began beingassociated with physical strength. Men’s strength and muscularabilities started being the focus of manhood. The focus of activitiesalso shifted to intense physical activities such as cycling, whichwould enhance masculinity. The physical strength of a man was thesame as his strength of character and men were not supposed to showemotions.
Towardsthe close of the nineteenth century, men turned to their primitivebehaviors such as extreme lust, ambition, selfishness and sex toassert their masculinity. The men also viewed physical assertivenessas an indication of strength masculinity and an important part ofdefining their manhood. The men also looked for danger in order toassert their primitive behavior and show their strength as men. Theanimal instincts in human beings were expressed through primitivegames that required much physical strength.
Themen sought to connect themselves to their primitive natures throughthe military ideal of living life as a battle. Men found meaning inlife through various struggles, which they linked to the military wayof life which also needed courage and sacrifices so as to succeed.The military ideal was linked to the primitive behavior of thecentury which emphasized the courage, sacrifice and endurance astypical male characteristics. Due to the lack of frequent wars, youngmen were encouraged to work in areas that needed physical strengthsuch as coal mines and building roads so that they could betransformed from childhood.
Competitivesports also gained prominence during this period as men were lookingfor channels of showing their physical energy. Men who playedphysical sports were associated with strength, and it became asubstitute for war. Men were either encouraged to participate inplaying physical sports or cheer physical sports. The physical sportsencouraged men to be physically strong and channel their primitiveenergies constructively.