Masculinity and Male Mental Health

Shahnaz Ruksana Khan Iqbal


Masculinity is defined as ‘characteristics of men; handsome, muscled, driven’ (Oxford Dictionary, 2019). Media portrayals of femininity have been well documented to affect female self-esteem (Grabe et al., 2008; Groesz et al., 2002), and recent research is proving the same for men. Media, such as magazines and pornography, portray the masculine ideal as authoritative and strong, with a mesomorphic body shape; shown to negatively affect male self-esteem (Tylka, 2015), causing mental health issues such as depression and disordered eating (Iwamoto et al., 2018; Parent & Bradstreet, 2016). The effect of this is heightened in minority males (Brewster & Sandil, 2017).