The three ancient rules of masculinity


Psychologist Martin Seager is undertaking research on the ancient rules of masculinity in an attempt to put these rules into words. Martin, a pioneer of male psychology in the UK, is hosting a male psychology conference in 2014 and has been campaigning for several years for the British Psychological Society to approve a Male Psychology Section.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 this week Martin said there are three ancient rules of masculinity which we’ve been which add up to a male script:

  • Men should be fighters and winners
  • Men should be protectors and providers
  • Men should retain mastery and control

Seager says these are shame rules which means that when a man is unable to remain control or to provide or be a winner he may sit on those feelings which can make him more vulnerable to suicide for example.

Seager shared his masculinity rules during a  BBC Radio 4 Today Programme interview about male suicide.

Related articles

Government failing to tackle male suicide

Male Suicide Prevention The Department for Health is failing to target suicide prevention work at men say experts, according to a report on male suicide BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Jane Powell of the male suicide prevention charity CALM said:

“It’s cultural as much as anything else. We don’t really see men as needing help in anyway or as being vulnerable unless they’ve got some additional asset or qualification which means we should look at them as needing any further assistance.

“And that  runs through our entire society which says that failure and being weak is something that women’s do and being strong is what men do. And so when we look at the suicide prevention strategy where it says and mentions that men are at higher risk than women, it then goes on to look at what other factors like ethnicity, sexuality or anything else that bring that kind of added qualification as for why we should look at a particular group as needing anything.

“We equate manhood as being invulnerable so we can’t allocate resources in that area because they’re men. A man who is depressed is more likely to behave aggressively, to  self medicate, to have anger problems and to end up in prison than end up getting any kind of mental health help.”

The Psychologist Martin Seager, who was also interviewed on the programme said that we have to “remove the blind eye we’re turning to it  because in 104 out of 105 countries that  we have statistics for the male suicide rate is much higher so it isn’t purely a cultural thing it seems to be an embedded evolutionary mind and body issue for men.

Male suicide is one of the key topics covered at the third national conference for men and boys. To buy your tickets today click here now

BBC unconvers high male suicide rate amongst soldiers

suicidesoldiercryingOne British soldier dies by suicide every week, more than are killed fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan according to a BBC investigation.

The British government does not record the suicide rate among ex-soldiers, but researchers at the BBC’s Panorama programme have discovered that 21 serving soldiers killed themselves last year, along with 29 veterans.

This total of 50 male suicides is greater than the number of British soldiers who died in Afghanistan where  44 were killed in the same period (40 of whom 40 died in action).

Male suicide is one of the key issues addressed at the Third National Conference for Men and Boys so BUY YOUR TICKET TODAY to take part in this event.

The pattern is repeated in the US where the government has be tracking suicides since 2001. The figure reached a high of 349 suicides last year compared to 311 war zone deaths.

While the Ministry of Defence in the UK hasn’t kept records on suicides, it has begun a statistical PR battle following negative press about the mental wellbeing of service men.

In recent years the South Atlantic Medal Association, which represents and helps Falklands veterans – has claimed that more veterans (264) have killed themselves than died on active service (255).

In March 2013  the King’s Centre for Military Health Research revealed that servicemen are at great risk of committing a violent crime, with those under 30 being three times more like to have a conviction for violent offending than the general population.

The MoD has hit back with research claiming suicides amongst Falklands veterans was lower than claimed and responded to the Panorama investigation by saying that rates of suicide within the serving military were lower than comparative rates in the civilian population.

In referencing only “serving military” the MoD fails to address what happens to men once they leave the military. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, you men leaving the military are at 2-3 times greater risk of suicide.

According to Colonel Stuart Tootal, a former commander of 3 Para: “the evidence suggests there’s more of a problem than the government and the MoD are admitting to.”

The former head of the British army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, also says he wants the suicide rate among veterans to be monitored.

“It’s pretty clear to me that it should be happening because once you have some statistics you can start to do something about it,” he told the BBC.

You can watch a Panorama special, Broken by Battle, on BBC One at 21:00 BST or Monday, 15 July or catch up later on the iPlayer.