How Toxic Masculinity Hurts Men and Families
Toxic masculinity says men need to be strong, unemotional, aggressive providers who show no weakness. These expectations can cause you to feel you can never be vulnerable, even from a young age. You might feel forced to bottle up your emotions instead of healthily processing them.
According to a study on Constructions of Masculinity, toxic masculinity strengthens these expectations and forces men to adopt certain traits like aggression, a lack of outward emotions, dominance and risk-taking.
These strictly defined roles can hurt family relationships, leading to marital conflict, emotional neglect and dissatisfaction with home life. Unfortunately, negative feelings among men are so common that they’ve become an expected result of development. Yet these rigid gender norms mean many men only learn unhealthy coping mechanisms. Embracing toxic masculinity benefits no one and may contribute to the development of mental illness later in life.
How Alta Loma can Help your Family
At Alta Loma, we want you to become aware of how toxic masculinity can increase family conflict. It’s the first step in working towards healthier family relationships.
The impact is one that will extend to all family members. However, it will be especially pertinent for young men who need a model to follow for healthy masculinity. The inability to develop a high level of self-worth and self-reliance is a challenge that hurts you and your family. It creates a circumstance in which you’re unable to provide the kind of emotional support your family may need from you. Your family is key to successful mental wellbeing and overcoming addiction. Work with them, as we work with you.
Toxic Masculinity Affects Boys Too
As a young boy, you may have never been taught how to complete household tasks, take care of children or even cook. You may have been told to “man up” or “stop crying like a girl.” You may never have learned the importance of sustaining healthy friendships and perhaps have been taught that male violence was the only expression you were capable of.
Teaching boys how to deal with their emotions and address mental health challenges hasn’t typically been a priority in modern society. The lack of education regarding emotional control as a human being and not specific to expected masculine norms has created generations of men who are unable to understand their emotions.
In fact, in many instances, boys have been seen as weak for showing emotion. This can be incredibly detrimental to their well-being and further contribute to social isolation. As gender research teaches us more about the negative consequences of toxic masculinity and the extent to which it hurts most men, we learn that healing must extend to boys as well as grown men.
Sexual Violence and Aggression Are Direct Offshoots of Toxic Masculinity
Sexual violence: One of the reasons sexual assault remains such a major issue is because of toxic masculinity. In fact, treating women well is not taught as one of the masculine norms, which means boys develop male entitlement instead. This can result in behaviors consistent with sexual aggression. However, you can break out of these old patterns with a desire to change and an alternative understanding of what it means to be a man.
At Alta Loma, we have multiple facilities equipped to manage mental illness depending on your experiences and status within recovery. To learn more about our facilities – click here.