A new study comes to a bold conclusion about sexism, and how it might affect the psyche of men.
A new study finds that being a macho man may not actually be in your best interests. In fact, being disrespectful of women and trying to act as the alpha male may actually be extremely harmful to your mental health.
In the study, published by the American Psychological Association, researchers found that sexism doesn’t just hurt women, it hurts men as well, particularly those who see themselves as playboys or having power over women, according to an APA statement, which noted that such men were more likely to have psychological problems than men who treated the opposite gender with respect.
The study determine that those who believe in masculine norms tended to have worse mental health, and also were less likely to seek psychological help due to the stereotypes of therapy being unmanly.
The findings are based on an analysis of 78 research samples with nearly 20,000 participants, examining the link between mental health and 11 norms that reflect traditional masculinity, or at least how society views masculinity. That includes violence, sexual promiscuity, risk taking, emotional control, hatred of homosexuality, achieving status, desire to win, work primacy, self-reliance, pursuit of status and power over women.
All of these norms correlated with worse mental health, but three were particularly negative: self-reliance, playboy behavior, 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, although the results differed depending on specific types of masculine norms,” said lead author Y. Joel Wong, PhD, of Indiana University Bloomington. The study was published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology.