• Benedicte Winther Vestergaard
  • Marie Trier Madsen
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis examines how men’s help seeking behavior in a personal crisis can be understood and whether hegemonic masculinity can be said to influence this. Through a hermeneutic phenomenological approach six semi-structured interviews have been conducted with men aged 21-35. Prior to this a narrative literature review has been carried out to create an overview of the existing research in the subject area. The themes of these 22 sources formed a foundation for an interview guide, which created a framework where the experience and understanding of the phenomena of help-seeking and masculinity in the life worlds of the informants could be examined. The analytical method Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) allowed for a scientific generalizability through themes such as: 1) norms and understandings of masculinity, 2) help-seeking behavior, 3) relationships and group dynamics and 4) shame. In the analysis it was discovered that hegemonic masculinity can influence men’s help-seeking behavior in crisis situations and that this is expressed in different ways for men. Some men are locked in an aspiration of independence and emotional control, which leads to them not seeking out help, whether this is relational or professional. Conversely some men try to seek out help but fail to do this. This is either expressed by their relations not being capable to support them in their crises, or they themselves lack knowledge of referral routes. Both parts can be said to be influenced by the hegemonic norms of masculinity as these can limit men’s ability and opportunity to be emotionally connected to others. The study therefore concludes that a positive or negative impact can be found on men’s attitudes towards help-seeking and behavior in connection herewith, depending on whether they distance themselves from or appropriate the hegemonic norms of masculinity. Additionally, it was found that some men distance themselves from hegemonic masculinity and therefore have positive attitudes towards help-seeking but still choose not to seek out help. This suggests a complexity in how embedded the hegemonic norms of masculinity are in men and that it takes a lot to break with these socialized and internalized norms that encourage men to be independent and have emotional control. These different aspects can contribute to a focused effort to enable men better chances for seeking help in the relationships and from professionals. For this reason, suggestions for further research are included as well as future focal points on the area of men’s help-seeking and masculinity.
Publication date3 Feb 2023
Number of pages109
ID: 513339700