Negative Aspects of Masculinity in Psychiatric Practice as Illustrated by ABC’s The Bachelorette

"I'm here for the right reasons" is a common mantra among contestants in The Bachelor reality television franchise. Use of this phrase is often questionable, as patterns of stereotypical masculinity are frequently adopted by various contestants. Repeatedly, the only acceptable male emotion expressed is anger. Feminine attributes in men are devalued. Group dynamics often punish displays of weakness with mockery and derision. There is often a greater emphasis on competition to win rather than being present for the "right reasons,” which is a long-term, committed relationship. While these attributes are celebrated on television, they also exist within the community (university, military, and prison) and prove to be a barrier to mental health treatment. In this article, we will learn more about these patterns by cataloguing illustrative vignettes from The Bachelor, describe methods to recognize and address barriers to care, and outline steps to counteract the negative aspects of stereotypical masculinity.

Author(s): Allison Cowan* and Meera Menon

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