The Truth About Sexist Men and Mental Health

November 22nd 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Women who experience sexism on a consistent basis, especially at work, can experience more psychological distress and anxiety at the office as a result.

However, men who hold sexist beliefs also experience more psychological problems, according to new research in the Journal of Counseling Psychology. 

"In general, individuals who conformed strongly to masculine norms tended to have poorer mental health and less favorable attitudes toward seeking psychological help, although the results differed depending on specific types of masculine norms," lead author Y. Joel Wong, PhD, of Indiana University Bloomington, told Science Daily.

The sexist and hyper-masculine beliefs these men have could be a symptom of toxic masculinity, or society's traditional gendered ideas about how men are supposed to behave compared to women. 

Researchers analyzed data about mental health and sexism from 19,453 study participants. Most of the men in the study were white and straight. They focused on 11 points of criteria to define "traditional masculinity." 

Here's the list from Science Daily: 

  • desire to win
  •  need for emotional control
  • risk-taking
  • violence
  • dominance
  • playboy (sexual promiscuity)
  • self-reliance
  • primacy of work (importance placed on one's job)
  • power over women
  • disdain for homosexuality
  • pursuit of status

The men who adhered the most to these points were more likely to suffer from stress, depression, negative body image, and substance abuse, according to The Washington Post. 

RELATED: 5 Subtle Ways Men Are Misogynists at Work