The following comes from a Jan. 8 story on The Christian Post.
The American Psychological Association has issued new guidelines spelling out how “traditional masculinity” is “harmful” to men and boys for the purpose of helping the psychologists who work with them. The guidelines have already drawn considerable criticism.
The professional guidelines, which reportedly took 13 years to develop, are the first of their kind that the group has published for clinicians for working with men and boys.
The APA relies on 40 years of research “showing that traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage that echoes both inwardly and outwardly,” the January 2019 press release explains.
Among the assertions the APA makes are that “the more men conformed to masculine norms, the more likely they were to consider as normal risky health behaviors such as heavy drinking, using tobacco and avoiding vegetables, and to engage in these risky behaviors themselves.”
“What is gender in the 2010s?” Ryon McDermott, a psychologist at the University of South Alabama who helped draft the men’s guidelines asks in the report.
“It’s no longer just this male-female binary.”
The role of the clinician, he says, can be to encourage men “to discard the harmful ideologies of traditional masculinity (violence, sexism) and find flexibility in the potentially positive aspects (courage, leadership).”
McDermott and his team are working on a “positive-masculinities scale” to capture peoples’ adherence to the pro-social traits expected from men, something that has not yet been measured systematically.
“Traditional” masculinity is never defined precisely in the report. But the authors do say it is “marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression [and] is, on the whole, harmful.”
Thus far, some reactions, spanning the political and professional spectrum, have dismissed the APA as an untrustworthy and ideological organization….