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The Psychology of Anti-Masculinity: Political Correctness Rules
The cultural war attack upon traditional masculinity, both the value and the person continues, with the American Psychological Association stating that masculinity is “harmful.”
Traditional masculinity was the driving force behind the exploration of the Americas. The grit and determination of traditional masculinity established the first thirteen colonies on the North American continent. The toughness and aggressiveness of traditional masculinity paved a path into the unknown, fought for independence, and established founding principles for the greatest country in the world.
Yet, in the 21st century, the American Psychological Association (APA) has defined traditional masculinity as “harmful.” The APA opened up 2019 with an article that reads, “Men socialized in this way are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors.” The article postulates, “The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful.”
“Though men benefit from patriarchy, they are also impinged upon by patriarchy,” says Ronald F. Levant, EdD, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Akron and co-editor of the APA volume “The Psychology of Men and Masculinities.” Levant was APA president in 2005 when the guideline-drafting process began and was instrumental in securing funding and support to get the process started.
The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful. Men socialized in this way are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors. For example, a 2011 study led by Kristen Springer, PhD, of Rutgers University, found that men with the strongest beliefs about masculinity were only half as likely as men with more moderate masculine beliefs to get preventive health care (). And in 2007, researchers led by James Mahalik, PhD, of Boston College, found that the more men conformed to masculine norms, the more likely they were to consider as normal risky health behaviors such as heavy drinking, using tobacco and avoiding vegetables, and to engage in these risky behaviors themselves ( ).
This masculine reluctance toward self-care extends to psychological help. Research led by Omar Yousaf, PhD, found that men who bought into traditional notions of masculinity were more negative about seeking mental health services than those with more flexible gender attitudes (