What makes a Man?
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Recognising the role of socialisation in what we perceive a masculine man to be.
Recognising the role of socialisation in what we perceive as a masculine man.
When thinking about the difference between men and women when it comes to accessing mental health services, I think it’s important to recognise the role of socialisation in what we perceive as a masculine male in society. We don’t have to agree with it, we can wish it was different and we can recognise that things are changing for the better, but we also have to be realistic about the fact that those stereotypes do exist for us. On the whole men do find it more difficult to ask for help, they are less likely to be emotionally fluent and may prefer a more cognitive approach to mental health support. There are campaigns and articles out there trying to tackle the problem but in doing so they are, in some ways, cementing the stereotype making it harder for many men to access those parts of themselves because they believe it’s inherent in their nature rather than a product of their socialisation. Both women and men will almost certainly be carrying a part of that socialisation with them. Their assigned gender role. If we try to ignore it, rather than acknowledging its’ origins, I think there is a chance that we miss out on really understanding the person in front of us and what is a large part of the making of them.
About the author Greg James is a counsellor with a desire to see people set free from the patterns of the past. Trained integratively, Greg is able to tailor his approach to the individual needs of clients and strongly believes that our lived experience has a profound effect on our present-day living. He works out of offices in Devizes & Chippenham as well as online.