Sexism is not only seen as a social injustice but can also have a harmful effect on the mental health of individuals who tend to embrace it, according to a study.
Apparently, men who want to have power over women, live a “playboy” lifestyle, and are obsessed with ‘status’ are more susceptible to experience serious mental health problems.
The study was published by the American Psychological Association that looked to find how strong men conformed to traditional masculine norms such as violence, risk-taking, and dominance.
The researchers behind the study investigated the behavioral patterns and well-being of more than 19,000 men and found that those behavioral patterns who are associated with sexist attitudes are the most dangerous to mental health.
Moreover, the study also found that those men who conformed to traditional masculine norms had a great desire to win, a deeply integrated need for emotional control, and a hatred for homosexuality.
Researchers say that almost all of these traditional notions of masculinity have a detrimental effect on men’s mental health and well-being. But, the three that are the most damaging are chasing playboy behavior, self-sufficiency, and power over women.
“In general, individuals who conformed strongly to masculine norms tended to have poorer mental health and less favorable attitudes toward seeking psychological help,” said Mr. Wong, the lead author of the study.
“The masculine norms of playboy and power over women are the norms most closely associated with sexist attitudes.”
But, there is only one traditional masculine norm that didn’t have a harmful effect on the mental health of men, and that is their focus on work.
“Perhaps this is a reflection of the complexity of work and its implications for well-being. An excessive focus on work can be harmful to one’s health and interpersonal relationships, but work is also a source of meaning for many individuals, “added Mr. Wong.
And while risk-taking has both positive and negative aspects, the study found that conforming to traits who are considered to be masculine can lead to psychological problems such as substance abuse and depression.
What do you think about this? Do you agree?
Image: Nathan Rupert