British men refuse to open up to people about their personal problems because they worry about being judged, a study has found.
Almost half feel too embarrassed while others search online because they don’t know who to go to for face-to-face advice or they don’t trust people enough.
Forty-three per cent of those said it’s quicker to search the internet, with 43 per cent saying it takes away the fear of others judging them.
Shockingly, 44 per cent would consider breaking up with a partner if they had a sexual problem such as erectile dysfunction, rather than seeing a health professional.
And more than one third of men would even prefer to ignore a health problem altogether than seek help.
Dr. Earim Chaudry, GP and medical director at Manuel, the first direct-to-consumer men’s wellbeing platform in the UK, said the findings are concerning.
These findings are consistent with my experiences in the surgery as a GP. A large proportion of patients are women and when men do come in they usually find it hard to open up and have an honest conversation.
They find it far easier opening up online than they do face to face. It’s important to put them at ease and reassure them that no one is judging – online or offline.
When it comes to common but taboo topics like erectile dysfunction it’s imperative we de-stigmatise the conversation so men feel compelled to seek help.
Researchers also revealed half of the 1,74 respondents believe it is easier for women to talk about personal issues than it is for men.
Three quarters said this is because it seems more ‘acceptable’ for women to open up. But the study found six in 10 Brits think men opening up more would have a positive effect on empowering others to do the same.
It emerged more than half of men would rather avoid sex, shop on the dark web or even break up with their partner than seek professional help for erectile dysfunction.
Worryingly, more than three quarters of Brits think there is a lot of pressure on men to ‘be a man’ and appear tough rather than letting emotions show.
Top traits believed to be associated with being masculine in 2019 are being protective and confident. Further to this, more than one third of respondents believe a family attitude was once seen as unmanly but is now ‘vital’ to masculinity.
A further 57 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll.com, admitted they are bored of negative media coverage of men.
On a positive note, almost half of men said they look after their mental and physical health more today than they did five years ago.
Meanwhile, 84 per cent of those polled think the idea of masculinity is changing and men are being encouraged to open up and show more emotion.
George Pallis, CEO and Co-founder of Manual, said:
So many men find it extremely difficult to open up to both friends and professionals about personal issues and it’s worrying the lengths men will go to before they face up to a problem.
It’s a shame that men still feel pressured to hold in their feeling in comparison to women, men need a safe space to go with their problems and seek solutions, empowering them to take action and deal with a problem more.
At Manual we want to encourage men to talk openly, challenging the outdated notions of masculinity where ‘being a man’ meant sweeping problems under the carpet.
As per their website, ‘long gone are the days of square jaws and no flaws’ and ‘thank goodness for that’.
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