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3 Masculinity Myths: What Is the Truth?

masculinity myths

Historically, western civilization has celebrated certain attributes of masculinity and given rise to these myths:

1. Men are unemotional.
2. Men are focused and decisive.
3. Men are competitive.

Societies worldwide have valued these traits so much that they have incorporated them into the upbringing of boys for generations. It is difficult to distinguish which characteristics are innate and which are imposed. Today, with our liberalized views of gender roles, the truth of these myths is being questioned, rejected, and even ridiculed. But the truth is that men, like their role in society, are filled with contradictions.

Men Are Unemotional
Boys are often raised to refrain from showing emotions like fear, uncertainty, and anger. They may be expected to cope with physical and emotional hurt without any outward sign of pain. There is a good reason behind this suppression of emotion. In times of crisis, it ideally allows a man to think rationally and decisively. But the inability to express emotions can leave men without self-understanding—and may lead to self-destructive behaviors such as anger, depression, or addiction. As gender lines begin to blur, men have an opportunity to accept and process their emotions in a more constructive manner.

Men Are Focused & Decisive
Leadership is a prized masculine quality, and men may be expected to know and perform the precise action required by any given situation. Even the most capable person needs time for analysis and exploration before making a decision. The pressures of social expectation and consequences of responsibility are burdens that can leave men with feelings of undue inadequacy, shame, and hopelessness.

Men Are Competitive
This might be more accurately stated as “men are expected to be competitive.” The diverse nature of individual men is likely to dictate whether they are athletic or intellectual, aggressive or amiable, driven or satisfied. Men who know their strengths tend to be self-assured and accomplished, without a need to continually prove themselves. Those who are highly competitive may be searching for an affirmation of their worth.

CA Rehab for Men
The pressures of manhood leave many men with pent-up emotions and uncertainty about the roles they play in work, family life, and society. If you have turned to self-medication or alcoholism in order to cope with the contradictions in your life, 10 Acre Ranch can help. Dial 1.877.228.4679 to learn more about our residential rehab program and begin the enrollment process now.