Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers believe that gender roles and violence may be linked after the latest research findings. The researchers wanted to understand masculinity, and the behavioral health outcomes and injuries that can occur when masculinity and gender roles are involved. The researchers determined that when men feel that they are not living up to the traditional masculine gender roles and norms then these individuals may be more prone to violent behaviors and outbursts. The research focus was on masculine discrepancy stress, which is stress that happens when a man feels that he is not meeting the traditional gender norms for males. These individuals often feel that they are not as masculine as the typical or average man and this causes stress, and they can be more prone to violence as a result of these feelings and perceptions.
According to statements by the study authors in the Injury Prevention journal “Gender role discrepancy and associated discrepancy stress, in particular, represent important injury risk factors and that prevention of discrepancy stress may prevent acts of violence with the greatest consequences and costs to the victim, offender, and society. Masculine socialization and acceptance of gender norms may induce distress in boys and men.” A link to substance abuse was not discovered however, and the study team explained this by saying “This may suggest that substance use/abuse behaviors are less salient methods of demonstrating traditional masculinity in contrast to behaviors related to sex and violence, perhaps due to the potentially private nature of the habit.”