LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 50 percent of men in the US aged 18-34 have avoided talking about their problems for fear of being seen as less of a man, according to a new report released today by Movember.
The study, "Perceptions of Masculinity & the Challenges of Opening Up," is based on research commissioned by Movember and carried out by Ipsos MORI which surveyed 4,0001 adult males between 18-75 years old across the US, Canada, UK and Australia. Findings indicate, despite significant awareness that talking openly is an effective way of dealing with problems2, younger men in particular are reluctant to do so. Over half (53%) of American men ages 18-34 say they feel pressure to be manly, compared to 15 percent of men over the age of 55.
Additionally, nearly a third of men (36 percent) said they felt under pressure to behave in a masculine way, with 58 per cent believing society expects them to be "emotionally strong" and not show weakness.
A quarter (25%) of American respondents aged 18-34 said they "always" or "frequently" change their behavior in order to appear more masculine, while 22 per cent in this age group reported they are "always" or "frequently" mocked for not being manly enough. Just under half (46 per cent) of men surveyed say they regret opening up about their problems, and 54 per cent of these men said the experience would prevent them from doing so again.
On a positive note, however, more men (56%) report having had a positive experience rather than a negative one (30%) when they have talked openly with others about a problem. Additionally men who have talked openly have felt better about their problems (62%).
"Although we've made great strides in understanding the challenges in men's mental health and the importance of speaking up, especially when you're struggling, it's concerning that young men still feel influenced by dated masculine stereotypes," said Brendan Maher, Movember's Global Mental Health Director. "We know bottling up feelings isn't the best way to deal with mental health challenges, and this research proves a need to continue tackling outdated ideas that harm men's wellbeing."
This research comes at a critical time for men's health, particularly men's mental health. Globally, three out of four suicides are committed by men, and it remains the primary cause of death for men under the age of 44. Risk factors include relationship breakdown, acute stress, persistent low mood and social isolation. While most American men believe that speaking out can help, this research shows that a fifth of men (21%) say they are unlikely to speak with someone if they are experiencing problems that they are finding difficult to cope with.
Note to Editors: Movember strongly encourages the inclusion of appropriate help-seeking information for stories about suicide and mental illness. If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information or to view the report in its entirety, visit Movember.com.
Jill Ormand or Kristin Davie | Hunt & Gather
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Sheryl Tirol | PR Manager, Movember U.S.
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Movember is the leading charity dedicated to changing the face of men's health around the world. With a singular goal to stop men dying too young, the charity supports the following causes: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Since 2003, the support of more than 5 million participants has funded over 1,250 innovative projects across more than 20 countries. To donate or learn more, please visit Movember.com.
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.
1 Ipsos MORI conducted a quota survey through its online panel of 4,000 men aged 18-75 across the UK, America, Canada and Australia (1,000 respondents in each country). Response quotas were set based on age, region and working status and the final data were weighted to reflect these profiles. Fieldwork ran from 30th July – 12th August 2019.
2 Three quarters of men (77% global combined, UK 77%, Australia 74%, USA 77%, Canada 80%) think that talking is an effective way to deal with problems, and 76% (UK 77%, Australia 76%, USA 75%, Canada 74%) believe that talking openly can have a positive impact on mental health.
SOURCE The Movember Foundation