Men High in Conforming to Masculine Norms have Less Intent to Practice Yoga: A Serial Mediation Analysis
Date of Award
Masculinity, Men, Muscularity, Self-esteem, Yoga
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Yoga is a spiritual lifestyle with the goal of alleviating human suffering and cultivating mental discipline. Practicing yoga has been shown to be effective at reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and promoting physical health. The total number of yoga practitioners has increased over the years, but surveys confirm that yoga practitioners are primarily women. Interviews with men have shown that traditional masculine gender norms serve as a barrier to practicing yoga. In the present study, drive for muscularity and self-esteem were tested as serial mediators of the association between conformity to masculine norms and intent to practice yoga. Participants (N=155) completed online measures of conformity to masculine norms, drive for muscularity, self-esteem, previous yoga experience, and intent to practice yoga in the future. Participants also answered one question in which they wrote why they might be hesitant to practice yoga and another about other men’s hesitancy to practice yoga. Drive for muscularity and self-esteem did not serve as mediators of the association between conformity to masculine norms and intent to practice yoga in the future. Conformity to masculine norms was associated with lower intent to practice yoga but it was not associated with previous yoga experience. The specific masculine norm Disdain for Homosexuality had the strongest association with lower intent to practice yoga. Drive for muscularity was not associated with intent to practice yoga in the future but was associated with less previous yoga experience. Drive for muscularity was not related to how men described their own and other men’s hesitancy to practice yoga, but many participants mentioned that masculine gender norms may serve as a barrier yoga practice for other men. Our results suggest that higher adherence to masculine norms predicts lower intent to engage in yoga, likely by virtues of men’s perception of yoga as a feminine activity. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Motzkus, Connor J., "Men High in Conforming to Masculine Norms have Less Intent to Practice Yoga: A Serial Mediation Analysis" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8934.