Reinventing Masculinity is a book targeted for men in counseling, women seeking to understand men’s needs better, mental health professionals, teachers and athletic or life coaches, and organizations and business leaders as well as men’s therapy groups. Its content is meant to enlighten society in how to achieve a more compassionate lifestyle for both men and women.

Adams and Frauenheim both have extensive experience in the fields of psychology and their brief biographies are included in the text. They exert an interesting and provoking thesis, suggesting that the role men have assumed throughout history is destructive and detrimental to humankind. They call for a more compassionate, and gentler role for men, one that might challenge the warrior/protector demi-god image some men assume today. Reinventing Masculinity offers “expanded possibilities and alternatives.”


Reinventing Masculinity explores a concept termed “confined masculinity” which is basically a set of behaviors that are trained into men as children and throughout their adult lives. These behaviors and attitudes are seen in books, movies, sports, and even the military. Society tells us that there are roles which men should and should not live up to and explain that the struggle for individuals to fulfill those roles can be overwhelming. Being psychologists, Adams and Frauenheim are able to dissect these notions and explain the harm they do to individuals. Their suggestion is to ‘liberate’ masculinity. Exactly what they mean by this is tackled through case studies they’ve come across in their careers—men learning how, with the help of counseling, to become more compassionate and caring human beings. Adams and Frauenheim also suggests that confined masculinity is no longer valued in the workplace, that the younger generations no longer honor that stereotype. 

Reinventing Masculinity offers several chapters on the process of reinventing your masculinity, labeling them The Five Cs. Curiosity, courage, compassion, connection, and commitment. (The reviewer finds it interesting that a faith-based curriculum she has studied addresses these exact same elements as a means to becoming a better person.)

There is a chapter titled Honoring the Soul of Men which, though the authors claim does not refer to anything religious, digs deep into the human experience which is enlightening and thought provoking.



“Reinventing masculinity is a humbling and audacious task.” – the authors write, and they have opened a door to encouraging the process. The book has a list of questions at the close to help the reader self-examine themselves and to see if they’ve modeled their lives according to society’s confined masculinity, or if they’ve experienced a true liberation on their own.

With their bookReinventing Masculinity Adams and Frauenheim have brought to the light ideals that the new generations of today are questioning.

Reinventing Masculinity is a professionally written psychology guide meant to help men get in touch with who they are without holding themselves up against a standard of who they should be. Indeed, it is an interesting and challenging discourse that those who are struggling with their self-image would do well to peruse.

Dianne Gardner