Masculinity Is Harmful

Did you know that it is psychologically harmful for men to be masculine? That is the conclusion of a guide published by the American Psychological Association.

Work on the Guidelines for Psychological Practice With Boys and Men was started in 2005, and the document was published in 2018.

The guide is founded on the belief that “patriarchy” is a negative cause influence on the world and that “male privilege” hurts everyone, including males. It is also predicated on the belief that one’s “biological” sex at birth does not automatically determine “gender,” and that more than two genders exist.

The underpinning reason for the creation of this guide is that “socialization for conforming to traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict, … and negatively influence mental health and physical health.”

No matter what a person’s disposition to this subject, it is easy to see the intent behind this guide —“it is a declaration of war against traditional masculinity!”

This is not the first time that men or the man’s role have come under attack.

There is no question that the last few generations have done much to tear down conventional concepts of “masculinity and femininity.” The drive for equality, for a blurring of distinctions between men and women, has been fierce, and largely successful.

Witness the emergence of “metrosexuals,” men who are apparently so comfortable with their masculinity they are not ashamed to “shop and primp” like women, as they increasingly enjoy the media spotlight.

At the same time, women are outnumbering men on college campuses 4 to 3 and battling to prove their capabilities in all fields, even the military. Within families and in society, traditional roles of men and women have been broadly trounced.

Pajama Boy is the “ideal” American male, according to the American Psychological Association.

It is no wonder that men are 3.5 times more likely than women to commit suicide, that boys are struggling in school compared to their female counterparts, that they are more often diagnosed with mental disorders such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Those who profess that they want to help boys and men, yet say masculinity is the problem, are actually fighting against the very nature created within them and designed to help them achieve success!

They are breaking down the natural role—the “gender role”—that men have been created to fulfill.

David French wrote an excellent response to the new APA guide:

“As we survey a culture that is rapidly attempting to enforce norms hostile to traditional masculinity, are men flourishing? And if men are struggling more the farther we move from those traditional norms, is the answer to continue denying and suppressing a boy’s essential nature? Male children are falling behind in school not because schools indulge their risk-taking and adventurousness but often because they relentlessly suppress boys and sometimes punish boys’ essential nature, from the opening bell to the close of the day. Especially in fatherless homes, female-dominated elementary-school experiences often mean that boys are exposed to few—if any—male role models, and male restlessness is therefore viewed almost entirely as a problem to be solved rather than a potential asset to be shaped.”

It is interesting that in a world that otherwise teaches boys and girls to “be yourself,” that rule often applies to everyone but the “traditional” male who has traditional male impulses and characteristics.

Then, they’re a problem. Then, they’re often deemed “toxic.” Combine this reality with a new economy that doesn’t naturally favor physical strength and physical courage to the same extent, and it’s easy to see how men struggle.

There is a war being waged against masculinity, and the APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice With Boys and Men” is a battle plan for the next chapter in this fight.

The very first guideline mentioned in the document that psychologists are meant to recognize when dealing with boys and men is that “masculinities are constructed based on social, cultural and contextual norms.”

In other words, “traditional masculinity,” which the guide defines as “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk and violence,” as a manly trait is nothing more than a man-made construct.

Is this true?

The fact is that true masculinity is designed to complement true femininity. The two are not one and the same, despite the “gender-fluid” argument the APA now espouses.

Nor is “traditional masculinity” harmful to boys. Quite the opposite — “they need more of it.”

The fact is, many of the qualities the guide draws attention to are good. Of course, there is nothing good about “violence,” especially when directed toward the “weak.”

The other qualities, however— “achievement, strength, adventure and risk“—are all positive traits that help men succeed!

Not only that, but these traits help men provide for and protect those who need protection and care.

Masculinity Is Not Toxic, but the APA Might Be
What Do We Mean When We Say “Toxic Masculinity?”

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