A new sociological study by Yale University seeks to understand the potential correlation between marijuana use and ideas about masculinity among young American men of color. Using data previously collected via the Cell Phone Research to Enhance Wellness study, which consisted of interviews of over a hundred minority men from Connecticut, the Yale study explores how perceived notions about masculinity can have a significantly profound effect on cannabis use by young minority men.
The study focused on two key factors, neighborhood living conditions and social unity, to gauge their impact on young men with regards to their marijuana use. It comes as little surprise that the researchers found a positive correlation between neighborhood issues and cannabis use, with the results having been fairly consistent with those of previous experiments. However, the study also found a strong positive association when it came to social cohesion’s influence, which is the exact opposite of what researchers were expecting to observe. Yale’s researchers are attributing this to local norms and attitudes that are more lax about the use of illegal substances like marijuana.
Follow the link below for more details on this fascinating and insightful study!
Friendships and ideas about masculinity have a powerful effect on marijuana use among young minority men, report researchers.
Researchers discovered that strong social bonds between men may increase, rather than decrease, marijuana use, contrary to what was previously thought. They also found that men who believe in more traditional masculine gender roles—men are supposed to be strong, successful, and not complain or show worry—are more likely to not use marijuana.
“…more socially connected men may view marijuana use as a way to enact their masculinity and establish a stable identity…”
While marijuana use among adolescents in low-income neighborhoods is a common target for study, the new research breaks new ground in the examination of minority men between the ages of 18 and 25, in between adolescence and adulthood, says lead author Tamara Taggart, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. While its use is prevalent among emerging adults of all genders and races, black and Latino emerging adults who use marijuana are more likely to experience the drug’s negative consequences, including incarceration, interpersonal violence, injury, and dependence, as compared to their white peers.