What is Toxic Masculinity?

Written by Jen Bell

  |  Reviewed by Mason Dunn

Toxic masculinity is a term to describe cultural pressures on men and boys to behave in a certain “manly” way: by being tough, aggressive, and power-hungry. Toxic masculinity is also characterized by rejecting anything deemed feminine, such as showing emotion or accepting help.

Not only is toxic masculinity harmful to boys and men, it is damaging for everyone else in society. Just as it can encourage unhealthy behaviors like heavy drinking and smoking, and discourages men from taking care of their mental and physical health; toxic masculinity is also linked to gender-based violence, sexual assault, and gun violence.

Whatever your gender, if you feel like you’re experiencing the negative effects of toxic masculinity and are ready to address that, seek assistance, like support groups or a behavioral health clinician.