The three ancient rules of masculinity

the-rule-book

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.

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Seven Reasons To Take Men’s Mental Health Seriously

02422c8b607e2a9226be29e7f027ff1dThe mental health of men and boys is a topic that comes every year at the National Conference for Men and Boys.

One of the many great organisations to attend the event last year—Men’s Minds Matter—have published a list of 7 reasons why we need to give this issue more attention.

If you want to meet a fantastic range of professionals committed to improving the lives of men and boys then do come along this year’s conference—you can buy your tickets online now.

According to Men’s Minds Matter, there is a lack of information available about the physical and mental health of men and boys, but we do know that:

  • Men are three times more likely to take their own lives through suicide (NIMHE, 2008; ONS, 2013)
  • Across the lifespan men are at greater risk from nearly all major illnesses and injury (O‟Brien & White, 2003; Courtenay, 2009; Coalition on Men & Boys, 2009)
  • Men engage in many more behaviours that are a risk to their health (Courtenay, 2000)
  • Men make up the vast majority of the prison population and it is estimated that 90% of prisoners have mental health problems (Prison Reform Trust, 2005)
  • 94% of young offenders are male and 80-90% are believed to have mental health problems
  • The majority of those who are homeless are men (Gill, Meltzer, Hinds & Pettcrew, 1994)
  • Men suffer more substance abuse and dependence (Kessler et al. 2005)

Men’s Minds Matter aims to address the mental health of men and boys through actively campaigning to address inequalities where they exist, conducting high quality research, providing training and development, and working closely with interested parties and partner organisations.

Men’s Minds Matter explores the mental health of men and boys from a scientific psychological perspective. They say that: “Mental illness in men affects not only individuals themselves but also others, including women, children and other men. It is imperative that we address the mental health of men and boys to improve the mental health of all people.”

You can find out more at the Men’s Minds Matter website.

And to come to the conference click here now to book your tickets today.

Male Eating Disorders, Body Image and the Pressure to be a Success Symbol

Think Tanks, Labour Party, Conservative Party, Diane Abbot, Jon Cruddas, IPPR, Demos, masculinity crisis, fathers, thinking men, sector gathering,The number of boys in the UK with eating disorders is a timely reminder that we have a body image problem says the host of the Third National Conference for Men and Boys, Glen Poole writing in The Guardian.

According to new research by the Institute of Child Health at University College London, the number of diagnosed cases of eating disorders rose 13% between 2003 and 2009 with the highest rates of new cases found among boys aged ten to 14.

In March, teachers claimed that the promotion of ideal body images in the media is reducing boys’ confidence in their own bodies, a problem estimated to effect 51% of boys.

There’s a well-worn but useful saying in gender debates that while men look at women as sex objects, women look at men as success objects. In simplistic terms this translates into ideal cultural images of men who are strong and successful and women who are sexy and slim.

It is perhaps not surprising then that men in general are known to underestimate their body weight, while women tend to overestimate. As a result we have men convincing themselves “it’s all muscle” and women convincing themselves “it’s all fat”.

Recent research from Australia found that men with a high drive for muscularity, as in muscle dysmorphia of ‘bigorexia’, had a greater preference for traditional masculine roles, whereas men with a high desire for thinness (as in anorexia nervosa) displayed greater adherence to traditional feminine roles.

One study found that men were more likely to feel dissatisfied with their own bodies after they were exposed to pictures of muscular men, while another revealed that men’s body self-esteem was linked to how hopeful they felt about romantic relationships.

Glen says:

“Last week I was invited to the Government Equalities Office with representatives of charities like Men Get Eating Disorders Too to discuss body image and the role of fathers as potential change agents. I look forward to seeing some of those experts at this year’s conference and making sure that these important issues are given a wider platform.”

To read the full article see: Eating Disorders: how do we improve the body image of our boys and girls? 

To book you tickets the the Third National Conference for Men and Boys today see this page.

—Photo Credit: geishaboy500/Flickr