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Research Proves That Men Really Don't Like Asking for Help

We've all heard jokes about the average guy's unwillingness to ask for directions, but compared to women, are men really less likely to ask for help? Or is that just a stereotype? Psychologists Michael E. Addis and James R. Mahalik cite numerous studies over the past three decades that confirm what we've often assumed: men are much less likely than women to seek help for a number of health issues. Addis and Mahalik conclude:

The findings have been strikingly consistent and have shown that, as a group, men of different ages, nationalities, and ethnic and racial backgrounds seek professional help less frequently than do women. Several studies have found that men less frequently visit primary care physicians and other medical health specialists. When men do seek help, they ask fewer questions than women. Moreover, although men report higher levels of substance abuse and are more likely than women to have experienced [problems] resulting from [addictions], they are less likely to seek help for alcohol and cocaine abuse.
Several studies have confirmed that men also seek psychiatric services … and counseling less often than women …. With regard specifically to depression, men have reported that they would be more reluctant to seek help, even informally from friends, and more likely to report that they would never seek [counseling] for depression.

Addis and Mahalik also warn that the average man's unwillingness to seek help has negative consequences:

Men's reluctance to seek help stands in stark contrast to the range and severity of the problems that affect them. For example, men in the United States die, on average, close to seven years younger than women and have higher rates of 15 leading causes of death.

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