So-called journalists at NBC News created a clip explaining why they believe toxic masculinity is “fueling an epidemic of loneliness” among boys. The clip begins with young men explaining that ‘no homo’ is used among their male friends as an effort to not act “gay toward each other.” The “journalist” claims that “equating friendship with gayness is part of American culture of masculinity,” arguing that American culture pressures men to be emotionless.
Another “journalist” claims that toxic masculinity causes loneliness among middle-age men, with the trend beginning in junior high school. Niobe Way, a developmental psychologist, claims to have interviewed many early adolescent males, concluding that most of them have desire to have “emotionally intimate male friendships.”
According to NBC, the isolation is growing in men. In 2000, NBC cites that 20% of Americans reported “feeling lonely.” By 2010, that rate grew to 37% among men. However, NBC does not reveal the gender breakdown of the 2000 poll. Therefore, it is uncertain how much the loneliness rate increased among men between 2000 and 2010.
Despite psychological research suggesting that there are average innate differences between men and women, Niobe Way asserts that American culture has assigned rationale thinking as a masculine trait and emotional thinking as a feminine trait. Nonetheless, Way states that these stereotypes “make no sense” because all humans think and feel.
Way concludes by saying that Americans should listen to young adolescent boys and recognize that men have “enormous capacity to be connected to their feelings.”
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