The Pressure To Be 'Macho' Can Damage Gay Men's #Mental #Health
I remember when I first thought my #body
was not good enough to be desired by other men. This feeling of disappointment with myself and envy of other men happened when I started going to #gay
bars and clubs. I noticed that #men
with defined #muscles
and often perfectly groomed facial hair received all the attention.
What they did not display was anything that was even slightly feminine.
Many gay men feel the pressure to have the perfect #muscular #body
, which can be for their own self-confidence and health, but it may also be an attempt to exude society's notion of masculinity in order to be desirable to other men. And part of this perception is due to toxic masculinity.
The term became known after Terry Kupers, a renowned American psychiatrist, published an article in 2005 titled, " #Toxic #Masculinity
as a Barrier to Mental Health Treatment in Prison." Kupers wrote that toxic masculinity was a "constellation of socially regressive male traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia, and wanton violence."
"It (toxic masculinity) is when these traits and ideologies that (men) ascribe to as historically belonging to men, are exaggerated in a kind of dangerous form," said Adam Davies, a doctoral candidate in education, gender and #sexuality
studies at the University of Toronto. "Many gay men therefore believe that in order to act like the 'manliest' man possible, this often means shunning anything that can even slightly be interpreted as feminine."
"For a lot of gay men, just by being gay, there is this sense of #insecurity
of being a #failure
because they're not #performing
in the way that they (feel like they) are expected to," said Davies.