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The Relationship Between Masculinity and Mental Health

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The Relationship Between Masculinity and Mental Health

In a society where gender biases and stereotypes go unchecked, boys and men may be expected to act out masculine behaviors that are harmful for their mental health. Whether seen as protectors, breadwinners, or leaders – these norms can have detrimental effects on both boys and men’s lives.

The connection between masculinity and mental health is intricate, involving social and personal factors as well as genetics, brain function, and environmental influences. That is why it is imperative for society to collectively challenge harmful stereotypes and norms associated with masculinity.

It’s essential to address the complex issues surrounding help-seeking behavior for men, who often rely on women for emotional support. This leaves them vulnerable to depression and suicidal ideation if they cannot access professional mental health services.

Masculine Self-reliance: For some men, masculinity and self-sufficiency can be a beneficial factor when it comes to mental health. It allows them to pursue more emotionally supportive relationships without placing an increased burden on women for emotional support in the process.

Particularly for men who were raised in families with less economic security or who were excluded from the opportunity structure due to disadvantage, male-hood can take different forms to cope with financial, economic and social difficulties.

They may need to adopt different forms of masculinity in order to cope with the stress and conflict that come from living in an increasingly competitive, capitalistic setting. Doing so could be necessary for them to survive and flourish in this increasingly challenging world.

These men can demonstrate emotional resilience, helping them get through challenging times. These individuals then become powerful resources for others.

These men can create a safe space for people to express their emotions freely. This in turn encourages open communication among all members of the community.

Studies have demonstrated that men who are willing to share their issues can reduce the risk of suicide and improve their mental health. They can also offer support to other men experiencing similar difficulties, who may not feel confident sharing their stories with others.

Another study has discovered that men who demonstrate more resilient forms of masculinity tend to experience lower rates of mental illness than their non-resistant peers. While it can be challenging to recognize this kind of masculinity, it’s essential for all men to know they can benefit from supportive friendships with other guys.

This article presents the findings from an innovative qualitative study which explored the connection between masculinity, everyday social practices and men’s mental health and well-being. It sought to uncover how men’s everyday social behavior mirrors and shapes their understanding of, as well as resistance against, hegemonic norms associated with masculinity.

This study explored 15 men’s lives in relation to Connell’s four dimensions of gender. These men were categorised according to their social practices regarding gender as well as whether or not they were conforming or deviating from these norms. Data were analyzed using NVivo 13 analysis software and interpreted using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six step methodology.

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