Gender policing may spark suicidal tendencies
Gender policing can lead to negative behaviours manifesting late in a man's life and spark suicidal tendencies.
Statistics from suicide prevention service Samaritans of Singapore show that about 36 per cent of men who killed themselves in 2017 were aged 60 or older.
A study by gender equality group Aware in 2017 shows that men who faced gender policing or gender-based violence in their youth are more likely to commit violence or display abusive behaviours such as bullying later in life.
This is made more worrying by nine in 10 teenage boys reporting they face pressures to be "manly" through harassment, bullying, teasing, social exclusion, and psychological and physical violence.
Some even reported incidences of sexual abuse.
The notion of gender policing also manifests itself in seemingly innocuous ways.
Counsellor James Leong said that gender policing is blatant and obvious at younger ages when children are ascribed colours, toys, hobbies, sports, activities based on their sex.
But the policing and sex-based pressures that are more implicit in the older ages also affect male roles.
Mr Leong said: "Older men will have a bigger problem with masculinity than younger men who have fewer responsibilities and roles to play."
Dr Mok Yee Ming, senior consultant in the Institute of Mental Health's Department of Mood and Anxiety, said: "We are all vulnerable to various stressors.
"Specific to men, some examples would be life transitions such as adjusting to the responsibilities of providing for the family or relinquishing the role of a provider following retirement.
"These periods can be a cause of stress and triggers of mental illnesses for men."
This could lead to depression and anxiety, and possibly suicide.
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now