Toxic Masculinity as a Barrier to Mental Health Treatment in Prisons

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Research Article:
Toxic Masculinity as a Barrier to Mental Health Treatment in Prisons This study emphasizes the fact that lives of prisoners are an understudied phenomenon in society. Researchers found that access into prisons for conducting personal interviews were difficult due to the increase of prison population over the past three decades. Researchers also realized that prisoners who were incarcerated or released preferred not to discuss their experiences behind bars for their personal safety and well-being. In the United Sates, prisons occupy over two million inmates in which ninety percent are males. Majority of male prisoners are from low income communities and are persons of color. Since many inmates are also suffering from mental illness or need treatment for rehabilitation, mental health services in prisons are now in demand. By understanding needs of incarcerated men, researchers can collect data about gendered behavior such as masculinity in the prison setting as well as gender dynamics. As a result, this article explains how toxic masculinity creates obstacles for prisoners when it comes to mental health treatments in men’s prisons. Toxic masculinity consists of regressive male traits that focus on domination, degrading of women, homophobia, and violence. This is usually seen when inmates get involved with physical fights against other prisoners or officers as well as prison rape or other violent interactions. Obviously this does not represent all prisoners because some of them do not fit the description of toxic masculinity. Since these characteristics of toxic masculinity are essential in the prison environment, male inmates are more resistant to receive psychotherapy from correctional institutions because it makes them look weak and emotional in front of others. There are many reasons why prisoners choose not to get help from therapists. First of all, there is a huge shortage of mental health services in prisons because researchers discovered...