It’s Movember, So Let’s Look At What’s REALLY Toxic About Masculinity

posted in: Mental Health 0

What is Movember?

Movember is an annual movement that is all about increasing awareness of men’s health issues. This movement encompasses generating support and providing information to help prevent suicide in men, improve the quality of life of men affected by prostate and testicular cancer, understand health risks, and promote action to decrease risks.

 

Why should we focus on suicide prevention?

 

Why are men more prone to suicide?

Research suggests examining masculinity as a way to understand the gap in suicide between men and women. A study found that male attitudes and behaviors towards seeking help can affect their health (i.e., when its ok to seek help). Other research has focused on the link between masculinity and health behaviors, which indicates that males who endorse traditional masculine beliefs tend to be less likely to have a physical exam, more likely to use substances, engage in high-risk sexual activity, and be more likely to experience stress or anger. Because men commonly demonstrate an unwillingness to seek help, they are reinforcing the stereotypical description of how men are portrayed in popular culture; men should display stoicism, toughness, and self-reliance. Due to the perceived social expectations that men are to embody these aforementioned characteristics, they are less likely to seek psychological help. This is one of the reasons as to why suicide rates remain higher for men than women.

 

So…Can masculinity contribute to why men are more likely to die younger than women?

YES, masculinity CAN be toxic because men die on average 4-5 years younger than women, and for reasons that often relate to making bad decisions. So in a very real way, men taking an overly rigid approach to their masculinity is contributing to what’s causing men to die early.

 

Something’s got to change! What can we do?

  • TALK – get resources if you’re going through a tough time
  • ASK – talk to a friend, family member or coworker who’s struggling
  • LISTEN – to what your friend, family member or coworker is saying
  • TAKE ACTION – following up with a friend, family or loved one are some actions we can all take to help

To speak with someone immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  at 1-800-273-8255. If it is an emergency, call 911

 

With help, comes hope!

Suicide prevention is just one of the many facets of men’s health covered under the Movember movement. To learn more about Movember and how you can help, visit the website at https://us.movember.com/?home. To donate to the cause, check out our MoSpace page!

 

Follow Dr. Singley and the Center for Men’s Excellence at: https://www.menexcel.com, Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

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