15 October 2019

Half of young men feel pressure to 'man up'

Movember's Masculinity Survey
Mental Health
1 MIN READ
Over half of Australia’s young men are reluctant to talk about their feelings for fear of being seen as less masculine, according to new research.
  
A report released by Movember today reveals that 51% of 18-34-year-olds have avoided talking about their problems because they don’t want to appear less of a man.
 
The survey, commissioned by Movember and carried out by Ipsos MORI, included 1,0001 Australian adult men aged between 18-75. It found that despite significant awareness that talking openly was an effective way of dealing with problems2, younger men, in particular, were reluctant to do so.
 
Over a third (35%) of Aussie men – of all ages – said they felt under pressure to behave in a masculine way and over half (59%) believed that society expects them to be ‘emotionally strong’ and not show weakness.
 
Brendan Maher, Movember’s global mental health director, said: “Although we’ve made great strides in raising awareness of the challenges in men’s mental health and the importance of speaking up especially when you’re struggling, it is worrying that Australia’s young men are still feeling under pressure to conform to age-old, masculine stereotypes that stop them from talking about the things that keep them up at night.
 
“We know that bottling up your feelings isn’t the best way of dealing with mental health challenges so we need to continue tackling these outdated ideas which are harming men.”
 
“Being seen as emotionally strong or stoic isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there’s a time and a place for it. But if the pressure to uphold this facade means that men can’t talk about their problems, then that can have a really negative impact on their mental wellbeing.”
 
A fifth (20%) of men aged 18-34 questioned said they always or frequently change their behaviour in order to appear more masculine, while nearly one in six (15%) of men in this age group reported that they were are often mocked for not being manly enough.
 
Three out of four suicides are men and it remains the biggest cause of death for men under the age of 44.
 
The annual Movember campaign, best known for encouraging men to grow moustaches during the month of November to raise funds for men’s health, is committed to tackling the crisis through its investment in mental health early intervention and suicide prevention programs.
 
Brendan Maher added: “Taking part in Movember is about doing things differently. As well as raising funds for men’s health, you act as a brave, hairy billboard for starting deeper and meaningful conversations. We encourage everyone to sign up to take part and to be there for the guys who matter in their lives, through good times and bad.”

Want more? Read the full report here.