How Does Drug Treatment for Males Address Toxic Masculinity?

Undeniably, men and women are socialized very differently in American society. On the women’s side, women are still expected to somewhat demur, non-aggressive, responsible, submissive, emotional and nurturing. Any deviations from these characteristics open a woman up to being considered flighty, promiscuous and of weak moral character.

On the men’s side, men are expected to be self-sufficient, upstanding, unaffected by emotions, aggressive and in control of themselves at all times. Any deviations from these characteristics and a man is considered to be weak, a failure and unable to properly manage their life.

In both cases, the characterization of men and women is very unfair. We actually live in a society where men and women have become much more androgynous. Not as it pertains to their sexuality but more related to the roles they play in the workplace and at home.

There’s actually a psychological term that refers to the pressure put on men to be these upstanding creatures who are supposed to have responsibility for the family’s welfare. The term is toxic masculinity. According to the website dictionary.com, the definition of toxic masculinity is: “a cultural concept of manliness that glorifies stoicism, strength, virility, and dominance, and that is socially maladaptive or harmful to mental health.”

In the sections below, the discussion is going to address how toxic masculinity plays into drug and alcohol addiction treatment. It will further discuss how rehab centers for men only treat male clients, knowing the societal pressures they are facing.

Gender-Specific Rehab Facilities for Men

A lot of addiction sufferers do quite well in a coed addiction treatment environment. In many cases, individuals actually prefer getting treatment with the other sex in close proximity. Still, there are a lot of people who strongly prefer getting treatment in a gender-specific environment. For that very reason, there are a lot of top addiction rehab centers, ours included, that offer the aforementioned gender-specific treatment facilities, though sometimes it might be limited to gender-specific treatment programs.

When men enter a men’s only rehab program, they usually do so to avoid pressure from the opposite sex to succumb to the concept of toxic masculinity. The men know right upfront they are going to be dealing with very specific personal issues that will create emotions and leave them feeling vulnerable. If dealing with these things in the presence of the opposite sex is going to become a barrier to opening up, then a men’s only program would certainly be the right choice.

It’s really the rehab center’s responsibility to do its best to create a comfortable treatment environment for each client. It’s the best way to assure each client is going to get the maximum amount of benefit possible from the treatment. To that end, there are several benefits men can derive from a men’s only treatment program or facility. They include:

  • The opportunity to build relationships with other clients with which they have things in common
  • Treatment program developers can create programs and an environment that address men’s needs in today’s society
  • Opportunity to avoid sexual tension that could interfere with recovery

Relationship Building

Coming out of rehab, clients need a stable environment as possible. In a men’s only treatment program, men get to deal with other men. They hear each other’s circumstances and can often relate more than they would to a woman’s circumstances. This commonality could form the basis for meaningful support relationships on the outside.

Creating Services Specifically Designed for Men

Think in terms of a man-cave. Men seem to thrive in very different environments than women. If a rehab center has the ability to create a masculine environment, with amenities men tend to enjoy, and devise treatment programs that address male issues, that would likely be the optimum treatment environment for men without off-putting females.

Avoiding Sexual Tension

It’s ridiculous for anyone to deny our primal instincts. When men and women try to coexist in close quarters for weeks or months, there is always going to be the potential for sexual tension. That’s not conducive to a healthy recovery and something that should be avoided if possible. A gender-specific program alleviates that issue from the get-go.