Toxic Masculinity

Toxic masculinity is the term used to describe behavior by men that is harmful not only to themselves, but also to their environment and ultimately to society as a whole. The point here is not to label all men as destructive. Rather, the aim is to expose toxic behavior patterns that are linked to masculinity. Dominant and repressive behavior as well as homophobia, misogyny, aggressiveness, and violence may be mentioned here. In the case of domestic violence, out of a total of nearly 142,000 reported cases in 2019, 81% involved women who were psychologically or physically abused or imprisoned by their partner. In 125 cases, the violence culminated in femicide, the Federal Criminal Police Office survey shows. But men also fall victim to toxic masculinity: for 2019, out of a total of more than 181,000 violent crimes, the Federal Criminal Police Office recorded that more than 147,500 were committed by men against men. In addition, it is also about exposing clichés about the male gender role, for example with regard to which emotions men are allowed to show and which not.

However, the term is criticized because it is not clearly defined and has not yet been scientifically studied in the context of other concepts of masculinity. Nevertheless, since the #MeToo movement, it has been used as an instrument to name grievances.