I just comment on the news of the day. But this news story aligns with everything that has been said about white male Trump voters before on this blog.
Readers know that I was appalled when Donald Trump brought up the size of his penis DURING a nationally televised presidential debate. I was also taken aback when there was a ‘need’ to release Trump’s testosterone levels when his medical records were made public. The attempt to connect with a certain type of white male voter was simply mind jarring.
But now some research is showing a most interesting kernel of truth about these ‘strong virile’ Trump voters.
I am always truly taken aback with news stories and research of this kind that show large segments of the male population to be defined as emotionally stunted.
I am one of those guys who is in touch with his feelings. I have never been one to stuff my emotions in a bag and pretend they are not in existence. I recall when my Mom was in the hospital in the final days of her life and my brother told me I needed to “buck it up”. I had no intention of not feeling everything and expressing how I felt as events played out.
But I know that much of the male world does walk about in a state of stunted emotional development as it is somehow not seen as ‘manly’ to talk about feelings. But it is not healthy to live that way. It does not allow for an individual to grow or be responsive to himself or those around him. It clearly is not something we would want lacking in someone who sits in the Oval Office.
Trump gave a Fox News interview in 2016 where he could not honestly address how others might have injured him over time or bring himself to the point of agreeing that reflecting on how we live our life does matter. His lack of self-awareness and introspection was simply stunning.
His words make the case about what is lacking in his make-up.
“…but you have to go forward…to look back and say, “Gee whiz, I wish I didn’t do this or that,” I don’t think that’s good… I don’t even think- In a certain way, I don’t even think that’s healthy,”
That is definitely not the type of individual we should want to have sitting in the White House. I want my president to have the ability and the security of self to be able to reflect, ponder, and feel from within about what is happening. Trump lacks the human qualities we should want in our family members and friends. He lacks the deeper introspection required of a president.
And now we read of how troubled men who are not able to be connected to their emotions and internal makeup have once again played havoc with the nation.
But our research suggests that Trump is not necessarily attracting male supporters who are as confidently masculine as the president presents himself to be. Instead, Trump appears to appeal more to men who are secretly insecure about their manhood. We call this the “fragile masculinity hypothesis.” Here is some of our evidence.
Research shows that many men feel pressure to look and behave in stereotypically masculine ways — or risk losing their status as “real men.” Masculine expectations are socialized from early childhood and can motivate men to embrace traditional male behaviors while avoiding even the hint of femininity. This unforgiving standard of maleness makes some men worry that they’re falling short. These men are said to experience “fragile masculinity.”
The political process provides a way that fragile men can reaffirm their masculinity. By supporting tough politicians and policies, men can reassure others (and themselves) of their own manliness. For example, sociologist Robb Willer has shown that men whose sense of masculinity was threatened increased their support for aggressive foreign policy.
We wanted to see whether fragile masculinity was associated with how Americans vote — and specifically whether it was associated with greater support for Trump in the 2016 general election and for Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.
Support for Trump in the 2016 election was higher in areas that had more searches for topics such as “erectile dysfunction.” Moreover, this relationship persisted after accounting for demographic attributes in media markets, such as education levels and racial composition, as well as searches for topics unrelated to fragile masculinity, such as “breast augmentation” and “menopause.”
In contrast, fragile masculinity was not associated with support for Mitt Romney in 2012 or support for John McCain in 2008 — suggesting that the correlation of fragile masculinity and voting in presidential elections was distinctively stronger in 2016.