Health

American Psychological Association Unloads On ‘Harmful Traditional Masculinity’

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

The American Psychological Association (APA) publicly released its “first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys,” in which “traditional masculinity” is deemed to be “harmful” and just too masculine.

As the extensive APA report reads, “traditional masculinity” is not only bad for men but is an “ideology” that can feed “homophobia” and cause sexual harassment. The report was actually issued internally last August but has only been released to the public this week.

New Jersey's Princeton University has a discussion group that encourages men to be more effeminate in an effort to escape the societal box of masculinity.(Shutterstock/rangizzz)

Weak man in front of chalkboard (Shutterstock/rangizzz)

The report defines traditional masculinity as an attitude that is “marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression … on the whole, harmful.” (RELATED: Ohio State U Student Blames ‘Toxic Masculinity’ For Brutal Rape Murder)

The APA insists “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage that echoes both inwardly and outwardly.”

But it’s more than just a state of mind, as “masculinity ideology” is characterized by “a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.”

Demonstrators with the group GetEQUAL hold a protest with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals affected by the country's immigration policies during a rally outside the White House in Washington, DC, September 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB/Getty Images

Demonstrators with the group GetEQUAL hold a protest with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals affected by the country’s immigration policies during a rally outside the White House in Washington, DC, September 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB/Getty Images

The APA suggests boys who are too masculine will spend their time harassing girls, getting into fights and picking on perceived effeminate peers instead of getting good grades in school. In its condemnation of men acting like traditional men, the APA is reflecting attitudes in academia, where universities like Duke U have enlisted male students to root out “toxic masculinity” on campus. (RELATED: Princeton Seeks To Restrain Men And Their ‘Toxic Masculinity’)

In an article on the APA website discussing the research paper, Stephanie Pappas acknowledges that it is difficult to argue with male success: “[M]en still dominate professionally and politically: As of 2018, 95.2 percent of chief operating officers at Fortune 500 companies were men. According to a 2017 analysis by Fortune, in 16 of the top companies, 80 percent of all high-ranking executives were male. Meanwhile, the 115th Congress, which began in 2017, was 81 percent male.”

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