Sexist socialization may hurt men’s psychological well-being.

Key To Happiness Is Gratitude, And Men May Be Locked Out (ScienceDaily):

Gratitude, the emotion of thankfulness and joy in response to receiving a gift, is one of the essential ingredients for living a good life, Kashdan says. Kashdan’s most recent paper, which was recently published online at the Journal of Personality, reveals that when it comes to achieving well-being, gender plays a role. He found that men are much less likely to feel and express gratitude than women.

“Previous studies on gratitude have suggested that there might be a difference in gender, and so we wanted to explore this further—and find out why. Even if it is a small effect, it could make a huge difference in the long run,” says Kashdan.

In one study, Kashdan interviewed college-aged students and older adults, asking them to describe and evaluate a recent episode in which they received a gift. He found that women compared with men reported feeling less burden and obligation and greater levels of gratitude when presented with gifts. In addition, older men reported greater negative emotions when the gift giver was another man.

“The way that we get socialized as children affects what we do with our emotions as adults,” says Kashdan. “Because men are generally taught to control and conceal their softer emotions, this may be limiting their well-being.

[...]

The study found a gender difference in gratitude, and a possible explanation for this difference is that men are socialized differently.

The ScienceDaily article was adapted from the news release by George Mason University.

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7 Responses to “Sexist socialization may hurt men’s psychological well-being.”

  1. Alston Adams Says:

    I am immediately suspicious of any studies that can be used to conclude that boys need less maleness in them and more femaleness in them. I am not saying that this study explicitly states this, however.

  2. Restructure! Says:

    Displaying softer emotions does not mean being more female. Gender roles come from socialization, not imagined gender essences.

  3. Restructure! Says:

    @Alston Adams:

    Link for you: Forced Into Manhood: Males and Homesickness at Camp:

    Masculinity is the end result of genetics and upbringing, and neither trumps the other in regards to influence. Still, we should not underestimate the importance of the socialization process on males. Decades of research find that masculinity is a social construct that is inculcated upon males from their very birth. In particular, boys learn early on what is expected of them as “men,” and research finds that families and society at large introduce several pernicious and oftentraumatic interventions to foster such development.

  4. Lorraine Says:

    If it is true that white people suffer adverse and harmful effect from racism, and I believe it is, than it makes sense that men suffer harmful effects from sexism.

    The -isms just hurt everyone. Ugh, this makes me sick.

  5. Alston Adams Says:

    The reason why I am suspicious of any talk about changing how boys are raised and educated is because of the damaging effects of trying to eradicate any and all forms of maleness found in boys. This has occurred in the US, mainly.

    I read the article, and did find that lots to relate to, both on the side of the homesick boys, and on the side of the parents that wanted to masculinize them. What I got from this article is that I am probably just another emotionally stupid/stunted man that should embrace his female side more. I, for one, truly appreciate being independent, and many women would say that it’s not a surprise: I’m a man, after all.

    If masculinity is a social construct, what then? It sounds like an illusion that we should see through, and then ignore. If so, what does it mean to be a man? Pretty big question, I know, but without the social construct, what is there? Physical differences?

  6. Restructure! Says:

    Alston,

    What I got from this article is that I am probably just another emotionally stupid/stunted man that should embrace his female side more.

    Do you even see what you are writing? The article did not suggest that at all, but you think it does because of your assumptions. You still think this:

    Emotionality -> Female
    Rationality -> Male

    Emotions are not something specific to women. Emotions are something common to all human beings. Embracing emotions is not the same as embracing a “female” side.

    That’s like a white person who wants to learn how to dance thinking that dancing is embracing his “inner black”.

    If masculinity is a social construct, what then? It sounds like an illusion that we should see through, and then ignore. If so, what does it mean to be a man? Pretty big question, I know, but without the social construct, what is there? Physical differences?

    If you are not sure what it means to be a man, what then? Is it that you will have nothing to reassure yourself that you are innately superior to half the world’s population?

  7. jwbe Says:

    @Alston
    >because of the damaging effects of trying to eradicate any and all forms of maleness found in boys.

    what is maleness?

    >I, for one, truly appreciate being independent, and many women would say that it’s not a surprise: I’m a man, after all.

    being independent is a quality of being a man? I don’t understand what you are trying to say


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