A new study found that men who value the norms that are considered “traditionally masculine” have a bigger risk of developing psychological problems. Those men are also the ones that are less likely to receive help.
The Dangers of Traditional Masculinity
The cultural norms don’t hurt only the women, they affect men as well. A man, who tends to have some characteristics that are traditionally considered as masculine, like a desire to win or a thirst for violence, might be more likely to develop psychological problems.
These findings were discovered after a group of psychologists looked at more than 78 studies made on this topic: toxic masculinity. These studies were made since 2003 up to 2013. All of the volunteers and participants were aged between 12 and 65. Despite the fact that most of the studies focused on white men, some of them also studied Asian Americans and African Americans.
Although most of the studies did not question the participants about their sexual orientation, the majority were straight. After the researchers analyzed these studies, they were able to identify 11 norms that are considered “traditionally masculine”. Some of these norms are the need for emotional control, violence, primacy in work, power over women, and dominance.
After they identified these norms the researchers analyzed the results of the men who tended to follow these norms. They found out that those who respect these norms are more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse, and stress. Because of the tendency to dominate and to be self-reliant they were less likely to see a psychologist in order to help them deal with these issues.
Psychological Problems Have Been Linked to Toxic Masculinty Before
The leader of the study mentioned that this is not a new discovery since all of the previous studies managed to prove that masculinity might lead to psychological problems. Most of the studies also showed that men would rather be violent than look weak. This causes even more problems because instead of showing and dealing with their feelings and emotions, they prefer to be angry in order to look and feel masculine in front of their partner.
The researchers also mentioned that the fact that men tend to be more masculine makes them refuse to seek the help of specialists and this is why they are harder to study because there is less evidence.
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