Why Boys Are Braver Than Girls? Science Could Be The Culprit

By Monica U Santos , Nov 26, 2016 01:58 PM EST

Men who see themselves having more power over women or adhering to be playboy behavior are significantly more likely to have psychological problems, based on a new study. Masculine gender norms which are also called as a personality being sexist, according to a new study from the American Psychological Association, reflect traditional societal expectations of masculinity for men. Boys who embody traits associated with masculine power and status may also have trouble with societal expectations and pressures.

Boys Are Braver Than Girls

According to Psychology Today, boys’ socialization towards masculine ideals – for instance that emphasize physical toughness, emotional stoicism, and dominance over women – can be detrimental to boys’ (and men’s) well being, despite the advantages of being male and acting masculine. Psychologist Joseph H. Pleck, who wrote The Myth of Masculinity, the problem is not that boys and men have a hard time fitting into a rational notion of masculinity, but that the role itself is internally contradictory and inconsistent.

The meta-analysis which was published Monday in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, examined conformity to masculine norms and mental health outcomes in 78 research samples involving nearly 20,000 men. The participants were predominantly white but also included African-American and Asian-American males. “Sexism is a social injustice and it might ultimately be harmful to everyone, including the perpetrators of sexism,” said Indiana University Bloomington psychologist Dr. Y. Joel Wong.

The Masculine Norms of Sexist Men

"I think it's possible to challenge and dismantle these norms." Wong said in an interview. "Two things: one, individuals and people do change and two, norms change over time. So that as a gender principle gives us hope," the doctor added. The researchers evaluated participants using an inventory that measured 11 norms psychologists believe reflect traditional societal expectations of masculinity. And here are the norms they give, according to The Huffington Post.

  1. desire to win
  2. need for emotional control
  3. risk-taking
  4. violence
  5. dominance
  6. sexual promiscuity (being a "playboy")
  7. self-reliance
  8. primacy of work (importance placed on one's job)
  9. power over women
  10. disdain for homosexuality
  11. pursuit of status

According to Forbes, it turned out that the more a person conformed to masculine norms on average, the more likely he was to have poorer mental health, the less likely he was to have good mental health, and the less likely he was to seek psychological help. Three of the norms—self-reliance, playboy behavior, and power over women—were more closely linked to the negative mental health outcomes. Therefore, we can really say that boys are braver than girls based on the research.


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