In an eye-opening, yet equally unsurprising study, it’s been uncovered that 23% of under 35s in Britain deny the existence of toxic masculinity altogether.
The term toxic masculinity refers to “an adherence to traditional male gender roles that consequently stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while elevating other emotions such as anger.”
Examples of men displaying toxic masculinity include the fragility of their heterosexuality (such as suggesting “eating bananas” or “recycling” is somehow gay), systemic misogyny, unnecessary violence, and the constructed facade of a man that doesn’t need to show emotion.
But research by online learning platform FutureLearn and the University of Glasgow found that 12 million Brits do not believe in the concept. In fact, 23% don’t believe that it’s never existed, meaning that twice as many people believe in Jesus who they’ve never met, but don’t believe in the toxic traits obtained by most of the men in their lives.
The sample comes from 2080 people said to be representative of the UK as a whole.
Furthermore, nearly a quarter of men “don’t believe gender inequality is a reality that exists in society”. With the clear irony being that men afflicted with toxic masculinity would not acknowledge gender inequality or toxic masculinity itself.
The two most common responses for the reason behind toxic masculinity were: “a stereotypical image of what it means to be masculine” and “an environment that allows for misogyny”.
Dr Cheadle, a lecturer in gender history at the University of Glasgow, has put together a free online course titled “A Global History of Sex and Gender” to educate people on gender history, equality and stereotypes.
Cheadle said: “This course provides the vital historical perspective necessary to enact meaningful social change.