Gender Norms’ Impact On Men And Women

Gender norms are a rather controversial and complicated topic. Stereotypes and pressure towards both men and women have had an impact on both sides. Women are usually expected to be quiet, passive and obedient, while men are expected to be more assertive, strong and independent. Fortunately, various countries are unlearning those biases, although it is still a work in progress. There is more to gender equality than the right to vote and work, which emphasizes the complexity of the topic.

In my opinion, while the trace of misogynistic biases is still persistent in modern society, there is still not enough awareness of how gender inequality affects men. Gender norms affect both men and women negatively and both face consequences for not following them (Zalis, 2019). The competence of the former often gets questioned if they demonstrate sadness at their workplace, as opposed to women (Zalis, 2019). This, in turn, shows how unforgiving society is whenever men show signs of weakness.

Besides workplace pressures, there are various ways in which these expectations are placed on men. For example, men are more reluctant to go on paternity leave due to possible backlash (Zalis, 2019). At school and at home, boys are taught to never cry and always be a beacon of strength (Rich, 2018). While this aspect is yet to be amended, media has optimistic changes. It has started providing context on how these pressures impact men’s lives (Zalis, 2019). Thus, this ensures a rather promising start to further achieving gender equality.

Undeniably, this affects their mental and physical health negatively as well. Due to societal pressures, men are more likely to engage in reckless behavior, have drinking issues and are more prone to mental disorders. The expectation to “man up” then leads to such consequences as cardiovascular disease, depression and even suicide (Zalis, 2019). Thus, one can track how the impact of societal expectations regarding males differs from the ones enforced on women.

While there is a risk of invalidating one side at the risk of promoting the other, one fact becomes clearer. Gender equality will be beneficial to both men and women, as opposed to some people claiming otherwise. By reviewing how gender norms affect men, one is provided with extra context regarding the origins and root of societal gender-based pressures in general. And, perhaps, upon receiving that information, people will be closer to finding the necessary gateway to gender equality.


Rich, J. D. (2018). Strict gender roles hurt men, too. Psychology Today. Web.

Zalis, S. (2021). The future of masculinity: Overcoming stereotypes. Forbes.