Miller finds homophobic men who display traits of toxic masculinity are more likely to be bullies


'So' macho: Homophobic men who display traits of toxic masculinity are more likely to be bullies, study finds

  • Researchers from the US studied 3,600 men's stated opinions on masculinity
  • They used a new scale of harmful masculinities by a gender equality consortium
  • It explored such themes as rigid gender roles, acting tough and hyper-sexuality
  • Those with aggressive or anti-LGBT attitudes are more likely to bully and harass
  • And they are also more likely to experience depression and suicidal thoughts 

DAILY MAIL -  Homophobic men who exhibit toxic masculinity traits are more likely to be bullies who are violent and carry out sexual harassment, a study published in the journal Preventive Medicine has suggested. 

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh used the 15-point 'Man Box Scale' of harmful masculinities in combination with data from more than 3,600 men, aged 18–30 and from across three different countries to explore how toxic masculinity can impact health and society. The team found 'macho' men with aggressive and anti-LGBT attitudes to be not only more likely to be bullies — but also to experience depression and suicidal thoughts.

Participating men had been asked about their notions of masculinity, gender equality and their own mental health. The team found that those men who scored higher on the Man Box scale were up to five times more likely to engage in online, physical or verbal bullying, as well as sexual harassment. Furthermore, higher scores were seen to be associated with twice the risk of experiencing depression, or suicidal thoughts.

“There has been a lot of discussion around harmful masculinities in the media and in the research community,” said study author and medical anthropologist Elizabeth Miller, faculty in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and chief of adolescent and young adult medicine at Pitt Medicine. However, she added, “no one has agreed on a standardized way to measure the concept.”

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