Are Men’s Misogynistic Attitudes Associated With Poor Mental Health and Substance Use Behaviors? An Exploratory Study of Men in Tijuana, Mexico

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Abstract

Men’s misogynistic attitudes (i.e., dislike or contempt for women) have been shown to be associated with men’s perpetration of physical/sexual violence against women and poor health outcomes for women. However, these attitudes have rarely been examined for their influence on men’s own health. This article examines the sociodemographic, substance use, and mental health correlates of misogynistic attitudes among a binational sample of men (n = 400) in Tijuana, Mexico, with high-risk substance use and sexual behaviors. We used a six-item scale to measure misogynistic attitudes (α = .72), which was developed specifically for this context. We used descriptive statistics to describe our sample population and the extent to which they hold misogynistic attitudes. Then, using misogynistic attitudes as our dependent variable, we conducted bivariate linear regression and multivariable linear regression to examine the relationship between these attitudes and sociodemographic characteristics, substance use behaviors (i.e., use of alcohol, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine), and mental health (i.e., depression, self-esteem). In the multivariable model, we found significant relationships between misogynistic attitudes and education level, t = −4.34, p < .01; heroin use in the past 4 months, t = 2.50, p = .01; and depressive symptoms, t = 3.37, p < .01. These findings suggest that misogynistic attitudes are linked to poor health outcomes for men, and future research needs to further explore the temporality of these relationships and identify strategies for reducing men’s misogynistic attitudes with the ultimate aim of improving the health and well-being of both women and men.

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