Toxic masculinity can take more of a toll on your mental health than you might realize. In our families, we often find ourselves falling into predetermined roles based on what we believe society thinks we should be. For example, women might automatically take responsibility for child-rearing and household chores. As a man, you might find yourself cornered into the role of a provider. You may inadvertently begin ascribing to hegemonic masculinity in more ways than you realize, resulting in toxic traits. 

Alta Loma is a transformational service for men with facilities in Georgetown, TX, in Williamson County, not far from Austin. We adhere to the principles of our founder in promoting the abilities of our residents to tap into their inner strength to make a change. Our goal is to provide a supportive, caring environment that will empower them to succeed.  

Sometimes you cannot hide from the effects of mental illness or substance abuse, but we hone in on the experiences of life to offer a remedy to distress toxic masculinity, offering guidance in your next chapter.  Read on to learn more about toxic masculinity and the effects it can have on your life. 

Don’t let Toxic Masculinity hurt you

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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.

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

Emotional Growth & Toxic Masculinity

Toxic masculinity can stunt your emotional growth and ability to be an equal partner in the home. Because women are socially conditioned to take on the majority of emotional, household and childcare labor, a drastic inequality between partners can lead to stress, frustration and conflict. Your partner can feel overwhelmed and neglected, resulting in increased tension and negative interactions.

On the other hand, you may feel burdened with responsibility as a provider and may repress your emotions to appear strong and put together. Like many men, you may experience suicidal thoughts that you feel you can’t express to anyone. Toxic masculinity encourages you to keep these feelings secret and deal with them in an unhealthy way, which is harmful to both you and your family.

Combating Gender Norms Can Make You Happier

You can help your family relationships be more positive by focusing on yourself first. Understand that societally “unmanly” things like going to therapy, crying, journaling and getting help for suicidal thoughts are not bad and can help you find the healing and happiness you deserve. Teaching yourself how to do household chores, cook or care for children can lead to greater equality, positive family relationships and reduced conflict.

Restrictive gender expectations only harm men and families. Understanding exactly how these roles restrict your happiness can help you heal. As you begin refusing toxic masculinity’s expectations, you can learn to choose emotional freedom and positive family relationships instead.

Take Charge of Your Mental Health at Alta Loma

One of the most effective ways to combat toxic traits is by taking charge of your mental health. Operating outside of hegemonic masculinity expectations and understanding the extent to which some of the toxic traits you’ve learned have impacted your life is a good first step.

Cultivating change in a safe space is a good way to make lasting changes. The combination of social support and treatment protocols that emphasize what it truly means to be masculine without toxicity is key.

Toxic masculinity and strict gender roles can force you to repress your emotions. They can lead to negative family relationships, an increase in stress and unhealthy coping techniques. Knowing how to combat these hegemonic ideals and reject toxic masculinity can help you be an emotionally healthy, equal partner, reducing family conflict. At Alta Loma Transformational Services, we give men a safe place to express their feelings. We provide you with the tools you need to learn how to reject harmful gender norms for a happier home and a happier you. Call us today to learn more at (866) 457-3843.