Education, Sexism, and Mental Health in our New Regime

Educational level determines many things for people, including values and health.  In the United States, the gap between those who are college-educated and those who are not continues to increase, and it has had a severe impact on our recent election.  The worldviews of the educated and the not-educated are “increasingly antithetical”, according to this article, and I must agree.  For the most part, it was those who have no college degree who voted for Trump, while those with higher education did not.  The issue is simply this – ignorant people were easily fooled by Trump, with his celebrity status, and believed the promises he made just to get elected.  They were unable to see that he is one of the 1% and will only promote his own interests and the interests of big business.  Now we must all be led by someone chosen by a few ignorant souls who fell for the con, and who will suffer the most for their folly.

A recent large meta-analysis brings other disturbing information to light that compounds our concerns for the future.  The work, published in the Journal for Counseling Psychology, revealed that conformity to masculine norms is associated with negative mental health as well as with negative social functioning.  However, of the eleven masculine norms – winning, emotional control, risk-taking, violence, dominance, playboy, self-reliance, primacy of work, power over women, disdain for homosexuals, and pursuit of status – three of these norms were quite strongly associated with negative mental health.

“Conformity to the specific masculine norms of self-reliance, power over women, and playboy were unfavorably, robustly, and consistently related to mental health-related outcomes…  The masculine norms of playboy and power over women are the norms most closely associated with sexist attitudes… The robust and unfavorable association between conformity to these two norms and mental health-related outcomes underscores the idea that sexism is not merely a social injustice, but also has deleterious mental health-related consequences for those who embrace such attitudes.”

Trump embodies these three norms almost perfectly.  He is a maverick and autocrat, he brags about his female conquests, and enjoys denigrating women.  What is more, his followers tend to adhere to these norms as well.  Their combination of ignorance and instability is particularly terrifying.  We all suspected these things, but this research provides empirical support for our fears.  It appears that we are now about to be led by a dangerous, unstable autocrat who was selected by a minority of fools who will unthinkingly do his bidding.  What are we going to do about it?

Work as best you can, in every way that you can, to resist the onslaught of madness that is to come.  Continue to pray, and hold a vision of beauty and peace in your mind.  We must never forget what we are working toward, or that it is possible.

 

Copyright © 2017 Teresa Chupp.  All rights reserved.

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