Men who indulge in sexist behaviour and general promiscuity could be doing themselves serious harm, a new study has warned.
In the past, these kind of playboy antics were applauded by a generation of lads who grew up on bottles of Blue WKD and banter aplenty.
It was a time when tabloid love rats were the norm for modern man-dom while cans of Stella were swigged on streets up and down the land.
Those days are behind us now though and- Donald Trump aside – in 2016, a study from the Journal of Counseling Psychology published by the American Psychological Association is warning of a link between sexist behaviour and mental health issues like depression and, worse still, substance abuse.
“The traits, or norms, most closely linked to mental health problems were playboy behaviour, or sexual promiscuity, power over women and self-reliance”
Based on results from some 70 studies involving a total of 19,000 men quizzed over the course of an 11 year period, the research examined 11 norms thought to be seen as society’s standard expectations when it comes to masculinity.
That includes traits like risk-taking, status and competitiveness.
But it was when the study looked closely at behaviours like sexual promiscuity women that the concerning data emerged.
“Some of these sexist masculine norms, like being a playboy and power over women, aren’t just a social injustice but they are also potentially bad for your mental health,” Joel Wong, associate professor of counselling psychology at Indiana University Bloomington and lead author of the study warned in quotes carried by The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The traits, or norms, most closely linked to mental health problems were playboy behaviour, or sexual promiscuity, power over women and self-reliance.
“Men who have trouble asking for directions when they’re lost, that’s a classic example of self-reliance,” Wong said.
More worryingly still, the study showed that an over-emphasis on work also had a damaging effect on mental health among men and can even have a damaging effect on interpersonal relationships.
Perhaps the most concerning revelation came when looking at the number of men exhibiting these kinds of characteristics who subsequently failed to get adequate support and treatment for their problems.
Mental health is an important and often overlooked issue among the male population with many men preferring to bottle up their problems rather than talk through the issues with a friend, partner or trained professional.
By the time things come to a head, it can often be too late with depression responsible for taking too many young men away from friends and family alike.
It’s high time men started talking more about their feelings and less about their sexual conquests.