Conformity to Masculine Norms: Differences Between Men With and Without a Disability

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There is a noted paucity of quantitative research examining the interrelationship between masculinity and disability. We analyzed a sample of 12,418 men aged 18 to 55 years from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (the Ten to Men Study) to investigate associations between disability and conformity to norms of masculinity viewed as traditional in Western societies. To assess masculinity, we used the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory–22, both as an overall scale and across 11 different subscales. We found little difference between men with and without a disability on the overall masculinity scale; however, differences were observed on subscales. Men with a disability reported greater conformity to Self-Reliance norms and lower conformity to Pursuit of Status, Heterosexual Presentation, and Primacy of Work. These results suggest that men with disabilities reformulate masculinity to assemble a masculine identity that draws on norms such as self-reliance but places less importance on other elements of masculinity seen as traditional in Western societies.

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