In the most ‘stating the obvious’ scientific news we’ve had in a long time, scientists are now declaring that sexist men are more likely to suffer with psychological problems. Of course, it’s extremely difficult to pin down what it is that actually causes sexism – after all, why should women make only 80% of what a man makes for doing the same job – but apparently, we’re a little bit closer to finding out.
The study published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology apparently discovered that men who view themselves as ‘playboys’ (vom) or as having power over women are more likely to have mental health issues than men who don’t. We know – it’s a huge surprise. Even more concerningly, though, they’re also less likely to seek psychological help.
As part of the report, scientists from Indiana University Bloomington carried out a meta-analysis of 78 studies involving nearly 20,000 people. As part of the study, researchers looked at the relationship between mental health and conformity to societal norms deemed as ‘masculine’. These norms included a desire to win, self-reliance, taking risks, dominance over women, the pursuit of status and emotional control.
In terms of mental health in relation to this, researchers looked at three outcomes: negative mental health (such as depression), positive mental health (overall life satisfaction) and a person’s outlook on receiving help for mental health.
Looking at all of the above factors, the scientists identified a link between conforming to societal norms and negative mental health in men. Most notably, men who embraced self-reliance, risk-taking, ‘playboy’ behaviour and power over women (they sound lovely) were seen to have negative mental health.
Of course, as with all correlational studies, it’s not certain as to whether sexist views cause poor mental health or if, vice versa, poor mental health leads to sexist views.
The next time you’re faced with a guy, then, who insists on paying for the meal, hates the fact you can lift more than him and likes to be the one in control, just remember it could be because he is mentally ill. Or he could just be a bad person. Either way, we’d suggest giving all men of this kind a wide birth…
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