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Independence and invulnerability - masculine gender role stress


Some men feel stressed by societal pressure to act masculine. These men feel that they have to prevail in situations that require physical strength and fitness. To appear weak, emotional, or sexually inefficient is a major threat to their self-esteem. To be content, these men must feel that they are decisive and self-assured, and rational. Masculine gender role stress may develop if a man feels that he has acted unmanly.

In 1987, Eisler and Skidmore did studies on masculinity stress level. They found five mechanisms of masculinity that accompany masculine gender role stress. They include:

a) the emphasis on prevailing in situations requiring fitness and strength

b) contact with women who have a perception of superiority, either in athletics or economic earnings

c) being perceived as emotional and thereby feminine

d) the need to feel conquering in regard to sexual matters and work

e) the need to repress tender emotions such as showing emotions restricted according to traditional masculine customs

Other articles from the section: Mens health risks

Stoicism and emotional repression

  Society has different rules with regards to the way that men and women are supposed to express themselves. Men are generally regarded as the ones who are supposed to give comfort and strength. If they break down, cry, or seek comfort they may lose face. Women and other men do not give men an option to express feeling sad, tired, weak, depressed, inadequate, needy, or lonely without sacrificing their masculinity.  Men are also four times more likely to commit suicide than women. Often, the family and ...

Section: Mens health risks

Independence and invulnerability - coping strategies

  Standards of masculinity can not only create stress in themselves for some men, they can also limit these men's abilities to relieve stress. Men and women have different ways that they appraise stressful situations and cope with them. Some men appraise situations using the schema of what is an acceptable masculine response rather than what is objectively the best response.  Men are limited to a certain range of "approved" responses and coping strategies. Because of this limiting schema, men may not ...

Section: Mens health risks

Independence and invulnerability - masculine gender role stress

  Some men feel stressed by societal pressure to act masculine. These men feel that they have to prevail in situations that require physical strength and fitness. To appear weak, emotional, or sexually inefficient is a major threat to their self-esteem. To be content, these men must feel that they are decisive and self-assured, and rational. Masculine gender role stress may develop if a man feels that he has acted unmanly.  In 1987, Eisler and ...

Section: Mens health risks

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