The social dynamics of men and women have changed dramatically over the last several decades. Just one or two generations ago, men were traditionally the sole breadwinners in most families, while the women stayed home with the children. Most civilized societies have been working hard, with varying degrees of success, to empower women and equalize work and household responsibilities across genders.
While this has been a positive development, it has created some conflicts in men who are expected to adapt to a vastly changed role while still receiving traditional messages from society about what it means to be a man. In spite of gender equality drives and mental health awareness campaigns, many men believe that they have to avoid expressions of emotion in order to appear “strong”. This creates undeniable strain.According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, men are more likely than women to develop addictions, and over three quarters of suicides involve men.
In addition, as more women are speaking out against sexual assault, many men are having to erase and replace long-held social beliefs surrounding masculinity, sex and relationships. Some who are unwilling or unable to make these critical changes may become violent; others may become passive and indecisive.
We also have to consider men who belong to the LGBT community. We have made great strides in terms of LGBT rights, but unfortunately, discrimination is still a big part of life for men who are gay, transgender or transitioning.
At InnerSight Psychotherapy, our goal is to provide support to men facing all kinds of challenges. Whether the women’s empowerment movement has left you with a lack of confidence, you feel harmful pressure as a result of social expectations of men, or you are an LGBT community member experiencing discrimination, we can help you.