MTV: Toxic Masculinity is the Reason Why Straight Men Don’t Want to be Affectionate with Other Men

Franchesca Ramsey, the host of MTV’s YouTube series Decoded, created an episode about toxic masculinity, titled “Why Don’t Straight Men Hold Hands?” To help Ramsey explain her point, she invited Kenny DeForest on her program. DeForest claims that physical contact is one of mankind’s first impulses, beginning as early as birth. He continues by declaring the toxic masculinity is the reason why physical contact between two straight males is so heavily stigmatized.

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To Ramsey’s credit, she clarifies that the term “toxic masculinity” does not imply that masculinity is inherently bad or toxic. Ramsey defines “toxic masculinity” as the damaging effects of the “culture expectations and restrictions on what constitutes as masculinity.”


DeForest elaborates by stating that straight men do not hold hands with each other because they do not want other people to assume that they are gay or feminine. In addition, DeForest opposes making gay jokes, such as saying “that’s so gay” or “you guys are so gay for each other.” He believes that such jokes “police masculinity.” Following, DeForest cites a study that suggests men who adhere to hypermasculine norms have higher rates of mental health issues, including depression and increased suicidal thoughts.

Afterwards, Ramsey makes a very flawed joke by saying, “America, land of the free except not really free for a man to hold another man’s hands.” Apparently Ramsey is unaware that both same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct are legal in the United States. Despite this joke, Ramsey praises Lebanon, a country where both homosexual conduct and same-sex marriage are illegal, because straight men holding hands is more socially accepted.

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DeForest concludes by telling straight men to “find another guy and hold his f***ing hand!”

Other episodes of Decoded include titles such as…

Watch Franchesca Ramsey explain why she thinks straight men don’t want to hold hands with other men below!

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