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Toxic masculinity has been a recurring theme lately when it comes to issues ailing society. There has been an uproar against it because of its negative impact on the relationships between men and women, but new research suggests that it might even cause health disorders.

Sociologists recently conducted a study on toxic masculinity, and the findings point to one of the risks being isolation, especially in older men. The toxic masculinity mentality may push other people away, leading to social isolation, leading to a decline in general happiness, and even trigger health problems.

The researchers pointed out that the most common type of toxic masculinity usually revolves around preconceived notions of what being a “real man” is all about. The beliefs are usually non-inclusive and unrealistic, where most of the men suffering from toxic masculinity believe that a real man has to be independent, tough, and strong. Failing to achieve any of these may sometimes cause the men to go through depressive states.

“When we age, there are certain ways that we can ensure we maintain our health and well-being. Having people with whom we can talk about personal matters is a form of social support,” stated Stef Shuster, a sociologist at Michigan State University.

Social isolation mostly affects aging adults

Shuster also noted that people who do not have anyone to help them or talk to about things like financial or health issues they are going through are at a high risk of mental health. It is usually the case for aging adults, especially when they move to a new place or lose a spouse. Older men that subscribe to toxic ideals are particularly at a high risk of mental health because they focus on not showing emotions and being independent.

Researchers also believe that it becomes more difficult for older men to develop friendships once they get accustomed to the toxic masculinity lifestyle. Even worse is the fact that it is very difficult for such a person to change their behavior. The best bet against such behavior is to learn while young, which means teaching our children better masculinity values.