Hegemonic masculinity refers to the dominant form of masculinity that is privileged and upheld by society. It is characterised by characteristics such as strength, courage, aggression, and the ability to provide and protect. Hegemonic masculinity is not necessarily the most common form of masculinity, but it is the one that is most valued and held up as the ideal.
The phrase "hegemonic masculinity" was coined by sociologist R.W. Connell in her book "Masculinities," published in 1995. Connell argued that hegemonic masculinity is not inherent or natural, but rather is constructed and maintained through social processes and power relations. She also argued that there are other forms of masculinity that exist alongside hegemonic masculinity, but that these are often marginalised or suppressed.