A study from Cambridge University suggests that when men are laid off or fired, they don't cope with it as well as women. That's what my mom says about my dad catching cold.
Dr. Brendan Burchell blames it on the patriarchy and the sense that it inculcates in men that they're breadwinners and valued most for their financial contributions.
"In part there is a macho issue about men being the breadwinner," said Dr Brendan Burchell from the University of Cambridge's sociology department, who compiled the study.
"Men, unlike women, have few positive ways of defining themselves outside of the workplace between when they leave school and when they retire."
He said that despite several decades of more equal employment opportunities for men and women, "men retain traditional beliefs that their masculinity is threatened if their employment is threatened."
I mean, men could choose to define themselves more as good husbands or good fathers, important friends, or in any of the other myriad ways in which people can define themselves, or they could focus solely on their careers to the potential detriment of any or all of those things, but that's sort of neither here nor there. Traditional men, used to feeling in a position of power in society, feel threatened when they think their jobs are threatened — whether that's by the economy, by women, or even by minorities or immigrants.
And getting a temp job — which puts money in the bank and food on the table — doesn't seem to help those men either:
Analyzing data from 300 current British employees, combined with a survey of thousands of people by the Economic and Social Research Council charting the effects of social and economic change since 1991, it found that when unemployed men move into insecure jobs, they showed no improvement in psychological health.
For unemployed women, even finding an insecure job helped to restore psychological health.
Basically, if the men who get depressed over not working don't have it all, they don't feel any better about what they do have.