The Macho Man Randy Savage never said much about his feelings (unless it was about his love of Slim Jims). But new research is making the case that guys exhibiting certain negative masculine behavior (like sexism) could make them depressed. Maybe Macho Man was crying behind his holographic shark sunglasses.
The study of 19,453 people was recently published in the Journal Of Counseling Psychology. The meta-analysis of over 78 datasets looked at 11 “societal masculine norms.” They found adhering to ones like “pursuit of playboy behavior” and “power over women” were heavily associated with depression and poor mental health. And while you may not subscribe to all of these, but refusing to stop for directions suggests you’re guilty of at least one. And, as much certain masculine norms were associated with negative mental health, they were more strongly correlated with negative social behavior. The clinical term for this would be, “coming off as kind of a dick.”
So what’s the takeaway? First, it’s important to note not all masculine norms had negative consequences. For example, values like “primacy of work” did not adversely affect mental health. And just because you check the box for one norm, it doesn’t mean you have to follow the rest. You can give yourself a quick test by asking, “Is this something Hef would do?” As a father, you can set a good example and chose your norms wisely, like hard work, risk-taking, or just Norm from Cheers … who loved Vera underneath that macho exterior.
[H/T] New York Magazine