Men who feel they don’t meet traditional masculine ideals may be more prone to violence and risky behaviors, a new study suggests.
According to the researchers, the findings “suggest that efforts to reduce men’s risk of behavior likely to result in injury should, in part, focus on the means by which masculine socialization and acceptance of gender norms may induce distress in boys and men.”
In the study, 600 American men, aged 18 to 50, took an online survey that asked them about their perceptions of male gender, their own self-image, and their levels of violent and risky behaviors.
Men who considered themselves less masculine than average, and who believed that others viewed them the same way, were more likely to say they had committed violent assaults with a weapon and assaults resulting in injury to the victim, compared to men who didn’t feel highly masculine but weren’t concerned about it, the study authors reported.
The investigators also found that men who felt less masculine and weren’t concerned about it were the least likely of all men to report violence or to drive while impaired.
The study was conducted by Dr. Dennis Reidy, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of violence prevention, and his colleagues. It was published online Aug. 24 in the journal Injury Prevention.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more about violence prevention for men.
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