Gender Role Psychology

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Females are often viewed as being expressive of their emotions as opposed to men (Karaffa, 2012; Sanchez, Bocklandt & Vilain, 2013). This belief has been supported by numerous gender studies. According to Nina Vaswani (2011), gender role are behaviours and attitudes that men and women acquire from culture in which they influence how men and women should act. Gender role theorist, posit that male gender socialization affects men’s willingness and/or ability to seek help for problem. Four main components of gender role conflict have been identified by research (Mansfield et al, 2005 as cited by Vaswani, 2011) that describes the barrier to help seeking. The researchers identified: an orientation to success, power and competition, restrictive emotionality…show more content…
Two main theme were identified by the authors as barriers in the literature about men seeking professional psychological help: psychological (cognitive, emotional), or contextual (health-service related and socio-demographic). They identified eight psychological barriers most prevalent among the 41 papers were identified, namely (1) ‘restricted emotional expression’—men’s tendency to guard vulnerability or to hold negative attitudes towards expressing emotion, (2) ‘need for independence and control’ –traits men often see as being central to their masculinity, (3) ‘gender role conflict’—distress caused by behavior contrary to gender roles, (4) ‘embarrassment’—related to seeking help, (5) ‘anxiety, fear and distress’—related to using services for help medically or psychologically, (6) ‘viewing symptoms as minor or insignificant’—belief that symptoms might go away, or that they could be controlled without help, (7) ‘negative attitudes towards psychological help seeking’—the more men ascribed to traditional masculine gender roles, the more they were opposed to seeking help, (8) ‘lack of knowledge about symptoms, treatment, and services’—men were unfamiliar with what would be considered a significant symptom, and which service to attend. They stated that four contextual barriers most prevalent in the 16 literature were identified, as: (1) ‘poor communication with health professionals’, (2) ‘lack of time to monitor one’s health and to arrange for medical appointments’, (3) ‘the cost of medical services’, (4) ‘socio-demographic factors’—such as ‘low educational status’, ‘never married status’ (Yousaf et al., 2013). These findings support the hypothesis that men who strictly follow masculine gender norms, are less likely to seek help for psychological concerns than are those
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