Gender Roles and Mental Health
[The Fordham Ram, 1/30/19] Today’s society holds many expectations for men and women. Often subconsciously, gender roles affect how we act.
From a young age, we are taught to adhere to these gender roles. Boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls. While these social constructs impact almost every aspect of our lives, they are especially relevant when discussing mental health.
Mental illness can affect men and women quite differently. For example, women are more likely to struggle with anxiety or eating disorders, while men are more likely to struggle with addiction or substance abuse.
Although many of these trends are the result of fundamental biological differences between the sexes, societal factors can also impact the mental health of both men and women in a variety of ways.
Men feel pressured to adhere to archetypal masculinity which boasts strength, dominance and stoicism. These expectations can produce negative results, like higher rates of violence and aggression as well as the squandering of one’s emotions.
In bottling up their true feelings, their mental health is frequently damaged as they are unable to address the issues caused by their emotions. This behavior is so frequent that psychologists refer to it as “alexithymia,” and they note that it is far more prevalent among men than among women. This habit may also be the reason why substance abuse issues are much higher among men, as they are trying to numb themselves and avoid dealing with emotional issues in order to maintain the image of a “strong” man. Sadly, men are also more likely to commit suicide…………
Read the Full Article at: The Fordham Ram
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