The Dark Side of Masculinity: Implications for Human Health
PERU's Anton Roberts, a Graduate Research Assistant who is undertaking a PhD at PERU presented a paper at the North East Post Graduate (NEPG) 2020 conference. In his paper Anton explored the effects of hypermasculinity, usually characterised by restricted emotions, risk-taking, aggression, aversion to intimacy, independence, misogyny, and the glorification of violence.
Anton asked why these harmful masculine ideologies persist, and what we can do about it? He explored the maladaptive aspects to hypermasculinity, such as the costs to internalising these ‘traditional’ ideals to people's mental health. He discussed the literature on hypermasculinity such as the increased rates of violent crimes, treatment resistance and the range of poorer health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, increased rates of suicides, depressive symptomology and reduced social support networks to name but a few. Anton finished by outlining a solution to this problem - advocating for a more inclusive gender identity, by arguing for a new critical discourse, allowing individuals to challenge aspects of their own gender identity and discard that which is not adaptive or harmful, to themselves or others.