Toxic Masculinity: An Obstacle Preventing Men's Healing from Trauma

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Emam, Bari
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The aim in this capstone is to provide a sound argument based on research on the combination of societal expectations, traditional gender roles, and long-established systemic structures that contribute to toxic masculinity and how these factors are obstacles to men healing from trauma. It also highlights the impact that this issue has on the lives of people from all genders and our society as a whole. The literature review findings uncover the following key contributors to toxic masculinity: influence of patriarchy, colonialism, white supremacy, capitalism, heteronormative gender roles and systems expectations which seem to hinder men's ability to process emotions. Narrative therapy and attachment theory are then used to understand this problem both from a systemic perspective and that of the individual. Principles of polyvagal theory and somatic experiencing are proposed as strategies to assist potentially helpful insight for men in a therapeutic setting as part of their healing journey. This paper contributes to the field of counselling psychology by shifting views about men, their roles in society and the unhelpful narratives about gender roles.
toxic masculinity, trauma, gender roles, defense mechanism, attachment, narratives, polyvagal
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States, openAccess