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‘Traditional masculinity’ is harmful, American Psychological Association says

A man wearing a tie. (MaxPixel/Released)
January 11, 2019

The American Psychological Association (APA) said it could be damaging to teach boys about “traditional masculinity.”

In their recently release titled, “APA Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men,” the APA said the “traditional masculinity philosophy not only is ‘harmful’ but also could lead to homophobia and sexual harassment,” Fox News reported this week.

The APA cites traditional masculinity as including includes elements of “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk and violence,” according to the U.S. News & World Report.

“The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity – marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression – is, on the whole, harmful,” the APA release stated, Fox reported.

The APA report held that “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage that echoes both inwardly and outwardly,” The Daily Caller reported.

“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,” the 36-page report says, Fox reported.

Further, the report proposes that “masculine boys may put their energy toward disruptive behaviors such as homophobia, bullying and even sexual harassment rather than strive for academic excellence,” Fox said.

The report suggests that psychologists relinquish any predisposition when treating boys and offers tips on how to do that while also advising them to teach them how “power, privilege and sexism work both by conferring benefits to men and by trapping them in narrow roles,” Fox said.

Never before has the APA delivered guiding principles to aid psychologists to “specifically address issues with men and boys,” U.S. News & World Report pointed out.

Ronald F. Levant, EdD, a professor emeritus of psychology told Fox, “Though men benefit from patriarchy, they are also impinged upon by patriarchy.”

The APA published statistics to support their research, “including that men are four times more likely than women to die of suicide worldwide, are ‘far more likely’ than women to be arrested and charged with intimate partner violence in the U.S. and commit about 90 percent of all homicides nationwide,” U.S. News & World Report said.

Stephanie Pappas write in an APAP article that, “[M]en still dominate professionally and politically: As of 2018, 95.2 percent of chief operating officers at Fortune 500 companies were men. According to a 2017 analysis by Fortune, in 16 of the top companies, 80 percent of all high-ranking executives were male. Meanwhile, the 115th Congress, which began in 2017, was 81 percent male,” the Daily Caller reported.