The APA’s Guidelines For The Psychological Practice With Boy & Men Acknowledge The Impact Of Toxic Masculinity
The American Psychological Association (APA) creates guidelines for how psychologists should work with specific groups of patients. They have a document for women and girls; one for transgender and gender-nonconforming patients; one for older adults; one for gay and bisexual patients — you get the idea. But, up until this year, they didn’t have guidelines for working with men. And that’s because men have long been considered the “baseline” or “normal” when it comes to psychology.
Christopher Liang, Ph.D., a psychologist at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania who helped draft the guidelines, said that the guidelines “are intended to help practitioners help boys and men live more complete lives,” in a statement emailed to Bustle. “It seeks to address some disparities facing men and boys in health, criminal justice, and education by providing additional factors for service providers to consider when they work with them. I think we can all get behind wanting men and boys succeed.”
The guidelines sparked a reaction from conservative commentators, who view the guidelines as an assault on “traditional masculinity,” according to reporting by The New York Times.
Brittany McBride, Advocate for Youth’s Senior Program Manager for Sexuality Education, says that the conversation about the ways “traditional masculinity” can have a negative impact on boys and men are long overdue.