What is Mascupathy?

Men often behave badly. Some are grandiose and aggressive; many others are worthy and admirable, but often emotionally absent and relationally disappointing. Virtually all men struggle to some degree with mascupathy — a pathology of masculinity — which erodes balanced and healthy humanity. The Institute for the Prevention and Treatment of Mascupathy provides education to help boys avoid mascupathy, therapy for men to recover, and advocacy for a more egalitarian society.

Mascupathy  is a mental health disorder, a pathology of masculinity, stemming from a socialized exaggeration of genetic masculine traits — aggression and invulnerability — and a reduction of inherent feminine characteristics — openness and sensitivity. The symptomology — inadequate self-awareness and governance, emotional numbness and instability as well as relational ineptness, instability and withdrawal — results in deficient intimate partnerships and parenting, excessive competition and one-upmanship, and violence against women and others.

Since the bar for acceptable manliness is set almost impossibly high, most men externalize (act out) their shame from the trauma of manhood in externalizing behavior: excessive substance use, escaping through their work, engaging in high-risk activities, and/or preoccupation with sex.

Although mascupathy interferes more in some men than others, it is nevertheless a plague on all our houses. While not included in the American Psychiatric Association’s compilation of disorders because it’s so common it seems normal — “that’s just the way guys are” — mascupathy is far and away the most destructive pathology in relationships and society today.

The presence of mascupathic disorder causes impairment in four domains of human functioning.

  • Weak self-concept: a pattern of poor or distorted sense of self; excessive grandiosity or inadequacy; excessive emphasis on self-presentation; and/or incongruence between thoughts/feelings and behavior. This results in an impulsive and erratic behavior or withdrawal and insularity.
  • Inadequate emotionality: persistent difficulty with experiencing, naming (alexithymia), managing, expressing, and governing feelings. This leads to behavioral instability and shallow and/or conflictual relationships.
  • Relational deficits: a pervasive pattern of interpersonal controlling, neediness, distancing and/or aggressive behaviors. This results in reduced capacity to establish and maintain satisfying, intimate, stable, and enduring relationships.
  • Externalization: A proclivity for engagement in acting-out behaviors such as addictions to substances, work, and sex; aggression towards partners and family; planned or random acts of violence such as mass shootings or genocide to relieve unresolved feelings of fear, shame, and loneliness, and in compensation for the feeling of “not being man enough.”