It's Sunita here.
There are many studies that convincingly demonstrate that the impact of ACEs (childhood trauma) has definite gender differences but my blog is not about statistics or studies.
It's about what I know and me sharing that with you.
It is about what I have discovered through the filter of who I have become, as I continue to learn from my lived experiences of attachment trauma, ACEs, struggle, treatment, healing and my commitment to stay on the road to recovery.
- Are men silently suffering from the impact of childhood trauma/trauma on them?
- Is the societal expectation for them to be strong and successful in emotionally damaging ways taking its toll?
- Are we allowing men to be vulnerable enough to ask for help?
I don't think so.
I say this based on the many conversations I have had with men over the past few years.
We have a considerable amount of work to do before there is an culture shift that encourages men to let their guard down and admit they are at the brink of a break down.
But according to Addiction Center, men typically are more likely to abuse illicit drugs and alcohol – 11.5% of boys and men over 12 have a substance use disorder, compared to 6.4% of women and girls. However, women are more likely to go to the emergency room or fatally overdose due to substance abuse.
Males who have a history of ACEs commonly shy away from being in intimate relationships and seeking attachment with others, find exaggerated self worth in their accomplishments, and may be addicted to activities that are sanctioned by society like overworking. High rates of completed death by suicide is merely the tip of the emptiness iceberg of men's long standing and silent suffering.
"Our culture does not allow boys the opportunity of deeply engaging in openly emotional relationships with each other. There is a strong stereotype of boys being less emotional than girls. That is not true. It is almost impossible for young boys to express tenderness and vulnerability with each other without being labelled gay, girly or weak. This cultural taboo has resulted in a social isolation in boys that persists throughout their life as an edict of what it takes to be a man."
In a recent article, Most young men are single. Most young women are not, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and journalist Daniel de Visé shares an alarming statistic.
"More than 60 percent of young men are single, nearly twice the rate of unattached young women, signaling a larger breakdown in the social, romantic and sexual life of the American male."