Violence upon men in Pakistani Society



The following article is written by a volunteer blogger. The views expressed in this are solely the author’s own.

Uptil now researches & prolonged discussions have been done only on the issue of violence against women, as they have been considered as tender, soft-hearted, caring, affectionate etc. Following the “Learned Helplessness Hypothesis”, according to which women are socialized to remain passive on the reaction of any kind of severe depression, whereas men’s reaction is expressed through their harsh behavior and anger. Social scientists are now considering the psycho-social problems of men as they too can be victims of violence.

Rare researches have been carried on the issues of men, as they have been stereotyped as most strong and resistant to intolerant situations. In the light of these limited areas of discussion, few points have been highlighted in the context of current situation of Pakistani Men. Modern social scientists have taken into account the inherent sensitivity of men towards any kind of violence, inhumanness and cruelty.

“Women are the foe of women” this statement tells that females since childhood, are being taught to stay alert from men’s conspiracy, men will harm and ‘spoil’ them, so females are required to keep away from them. Such kind of socialization patterns induce fixation of certain kind of ideas. In many cases this statement has been proved wrong, for example, the relationship between a father and daughter does not follow the above mentioned concerns.

Domestic violence against men may be due to different causes, such as forced marriages, children born out of wedlock, revenge based marriages, extra marital relationships, poverty. Research tells that women are more likely to be negatively affected by low income. Cheating on the part of women, cold tempered wives, histrionic personalities, menopause, irritability, lack of self-control, and low self-esteem. Women expressing lack of tolerance and the tendency to flare up or hold resentment can impose psychological tortures on their male partners.

In the few reported cases, mostly kitchen groceries and utensils are being used as the weapon. It’s more common among teenage mothers who are less educated & more frustrated by personal concerns; they are impulsive and have lack of self-control. Relationship problems with the family members, most of social misunderstandings and conflicts are due to an inappropriate tone or pitch of the sound and due to difference of opinion.

Expenditure and expectation of well to do, and educated, white collar women increase with their social class. Thus economic distress of men if having a “Trophy Bride” increases because of them, having been habitual of a luxurious lifestyle, which further motivates them to earn more and more, this motivation may be a serious factor in deterioting relationships with the husband, as he may feel pushed to earn more.  If this need to spend more money is based in lowered self-worth, then this condition can never be fulfilled and becomes a downward spiral for the relationship.

Due to inability to cope with various stresses of life and marriage, the incidence of psychological disorders is higher in women, and may be an added stress on the husband’s budget. Women seek attention from their husbands in one way or other, sometimes in an unhealthy manner, without clearly expressing their needs and desires. This can further deteriote an already ailing marriage.

If the wife discovers her husband having an extra marital affair she can act out in a violence manner. Sometimes even the fear that the husband may be involved in such a relationship coupled with a lowered self worth may cause her to do the same.

Mental health awareness programs, counseling sections have been initiated by many organizations. Such counseling can help couples to better achieve their successful married life goals. In this way gender role stereotypes could be broken to some extend and would give a new outlook to change some societies’ standpoint in befitting ways.






Crushed by Disappointment?

Tips to handle life when things don’t go your way


Susan Noonan M.D

Disappointments are unfortunately part of our daily life.  Things don’t always turn out as we plan, or as we would like, for many reasons.  Maybe it’s the job you didn’t get, the relationship that failed, or a child or parent who is challenging.  Maybe the expectations you had weren’t realistic.  It could be in the planning, the execution, your effort, other people, or lots of things.  When faced with disappointment you can either curl up in a corner, crumbled in defeat, and do nothing.  Or you can keep moving forward.  Some people become paralyzed by the loss and can’t seem to get beyond it.  Others have a persistence and determination that allows them to keep moving on, inch by inch, moment by moment, even in the face of disappointment and setbacks.  What makes them different?  Which one are you now, which would you like to be in the future?  How do you get there?

A person in the first group, who crumbles in defeat, may have a more narrow view of his life and responds in such a way because he believes his options are fairly limited.  He puts all of his efforts, hopes and dreams into one small area.  Perhaps the expectations he set were overly ambitious and not accurate or realistic.  Perhaps he has limited problem solving skills. Then, if and when things don’t work out in one area of his life, it feels catastrophic.  He feels defeated and like a failure.  He cannot see alternatives that will bring him equivalent satisfaction or pleasure.  This may make him feel powerless to create change in his life.

A person who is able to keep going in spite of setbacks or disappointments may have a broader view of himself, life in general and his world.  He believes that he has several options or alternatives in life, so that if one thing fails he sees other things to move on to.  Perhaps thegoals he set are more realistic and attainable.  Having choices and control over those choices gives him a more optimistic view of the world, knowing that it is within his power to change his circumstances.

How do you get to be the healthier, more resilient person who is able to keep going despite disappointment?  To begin, try to make your goals and expectations for what you seek realistic and attainable for you.  Do this by taking a close look at your personal skills and abilities, of the situation you are in, of the supportive people around you, and try to match your goal to fit all of that.  Take small steps that are achievable and measurable, so that you will have a greater chance of experiencing success.    

If things don’t work out, which sometimes happens to all of us, it is most helpful to put the disappointing event in perspective.  Recognize that it is but one part, one chapter, in the course of your life.  Try not to give that one event the power to control the rest of your life.  Accept that an experience causing disappointment happened, recognize the real (not exaggerated) effects it may have on your life in the long run, and then put it in the past.  Try not to dwell on what did or did not occur.  Then make alternative plans to replace it with other things that will accomplish the same purpose in your life.  Open your mind to other ideas, events, people, projects or activities that will bring you a similar level of pleasure or satisfaction.  This might be a different job with another boss, a new boyfriend, or a different way to work with your teenage son and his failing grades.  You cannot know in advance whether or not a new approach will bring you even greater success and gratification. 

Try not to let the disappointment define you.  It’s easy in depression to fall back into negative self-talk after a disappointment, when the view we have of ourselves may be low.  “I’m a loser,” “I never do anything right,” “Nobody will ever want to date [or hire] me.”  Be aware of those times and try to catch yourself so that the negatives don’t overwhelm you.  Try to replace the negative self-talk with alternative and realistic statements that reflect more accurately your current situation.  For example, you might say to yourself “Well, I didn’t get that job – they were looking for a person with a particular kind of experience that I don’t really have.  It would have been an uncomfortable stretch for me to take it.  But I have other skills and experiences that are valued and desirable. This will eventually lead me to a satisfying position.”

It’s helpful if you know how to problem solve when things don’t turn out as you’d like. Here are some easy steps to remember: First, identify the problem you have, stating it in as brief and descriptive words as you can.  Then think about the impact you personally have on the problem, what things you currently do to make it better or worse.  These are things that you have control over and can potentially change.  Next, write down the short and long-term costs to you of doing nothing and the benefits of solving the problem.  This will help you get motivated for change.  The third step is to brainstorm (think of) several options, all the different things you could possibly do to correct the problem.  Learn as much as you can about the problem and your options.  Make a list of the pros and cons of each option.  Finally, select the best solution, and what steps are needed to begin working on the solution, including the people you will ask to assist you.  This will help you to work through disappointments and setbacks.

Stay Well!

Top 10 Important or Intriguing Psychology Articles of 2015

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D

The field of psychology is diverse and large — the American Psychological Association alone has divisions representing more than 54 separate topic areas. Tens of thousands of psychology papers are published every year in peer-reviewed journals. In 2015 alone, there were more than 2,000 meta-analyses papers (research that summarizes and examines other research) published in psychology’s PsycINFO research database.

Here are ten psychology articles published in the past year that I think were important or intriguing, and advanced the field of psychology significantly.

  1. The Hoffman Report

While not a traditional psychology article, the Hoffman Report — formally titled the Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture — looked into the American Psychological Association’s (APA) efforts to ensure that psychologists could continue to consult in torture interrogations. The independent investigation into the efforts of the APA’s leadership led to the firing of a single staffer, the resignation of another, and the early retirement of two others.

Those named in the report led a vigorous rebuttal effort to tarnish the report’s investigation and findings. This report shed light on the inner machinations of the APA, the world’s largest professional association of psychologists (suffering in recent years from declining membership), and may be the spark that will make the organization more transparent than it has ever been (Hoffman Report, 2015).

  1. Comprehensive Versus Usual Community Care for First-Episode Psychosis: 2-Year Outcomes From the NIMH RAISE Early Treatment Program

When most families are confronted with a family member who has a first episode of schizophrenia or psychosis, the usual course of treatment recommended is antipsychotic medication. This important longitudinal study demonstrated that focusing more on psychotherapy and family support results in better patient outcomes (Kane et al., 2015).

  1. Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science

The scientists conducting this massive, multi-year project decided to look at whether they could reproduce 100 psychology studies conducted by a random set of researchers in 2008. Their findings were somewhat unexpected. Only 36 percent of the replications had statistically significant results — meaning that the researchers couldn’t find significance in the remaining 64 percent of studies. Only 47 percent had effect sizes in a comparable range, but they were typically 50 percent smaller than the original effect sizes (Open Science Collaboration2015).

This would suggest that when psychology studies are replicated by other researchers in the field, most results won’t hold up. They lack “robustness,” in the parlance of scientific research. This paper serves as an important reminder that psychological science rarely produces definitive results. (The Atlantic’s take on the findings.)

  1. Fifty psychological and psychiatric terms to avoid: a list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases

We previously wrote about this article, which explains why these 50 psychological and psychiatric terms should be avoided. They are misunderstood, misused, and outright abused – not only by researchers, but by journalists and other mainstream members of the media who attempt to report on psychological science. (Lilienfeld et al., 2015).

  1. Comorbidity of intellectual disability confounds ascertainment of autism: implications for genetic diagnosis

Is autism really on the rise and are we in the midst of an autism “epidemic?” An important paper published in 2015 demonstrates how it’s far more likely that the childhood psychiatric diagnosis of autism is simply displacing the use of other terms. As Science reported on the study in July, the “new study argues much of that increase likely came as educators swapped one diagnosis for another. The overall percentage of kids diagnosed with a collection of brain development problems that includes autism remained unchanged, suggesting that children who used to be labeled with conditions such as “intellectual disability” were in fact autistic.”

This is good news for anyone who believes we’re in the midst of some sort of autism epidemic. Our preferences for certain diagnoses are simply changing, and the data reflect those societal trends (Polyak et al., 2015).

  1. Musical Preferences are Linked to Cognitive Styles

Why do we like the music we do? That’s the age-old question that researchers set out to answer in this study of 26 musical genres across five different sample populations comprised of more than 3,000 participants. Their findings? “Those who are type E (bias towards empathizing [react emotionally or physiologically to the music]) preferred music on the Mellow dimension (R&B/soul, adult contemporary, soft rock genres) compared to type S (bias towards systemizing [or analysis of the music they’re listening to]) who preferred music on the Intense dimension (punk, heavy metal, and hard rock).

“[Further analysis] revealed that type E individuals preferred music that featured low arousal (gentle, warm, and sensual attributes), negative valence (depressing and sad), and emotional depth (poetic, relaxing, and thoughtful), while type S preferred music that featured high arousal (strong, tense, and thrilling), and aspects of positive valence (animated) and cerebral depth (complexity)” (Greenberg et al., 2015).

  1. Predictors of treatment success: fMRI & Pharmacogenomic testing

There are a number of papers that cover this topic, but one that caught my eye was A systematic review of relations between resting-state functional-MRI and treatment response in major depressive disorder by Dichter et al. (2015) in theJournal of Affective Disorders.

The researchers found that by examining studies that employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans that “treatment response (with antidepressants) is associated with increased connectivity between frontal and limbic brain regions, possibly resulting in greater inhibitory control over neural circuits that process emotions.” In effect, there may be an fMRI scan that, in the future, will help predict what treatment may work best for each unique person.1

Pharmacogenomic testing — testing for specific genetic markers or makeup — is a technique that can help predict a person’s ability to metabolize certain medications. But it is still in its infancy and the data have come from mostly small studies. Two excellent papers on this topic are Steven Hamilton’s (2015) The Promise of Psychiatric Pharmacogenomics inBiological Psychiatry and the more dense Personalized Medicine and Mood Disorders (2015) in Psychiatric Clinics of North America by Alhajji & Nemeroff.

  1. Gender Differences and Similarities in Receptivity to Sexual Invitations: Effects of Location and Risk Perception

We’re told over and over again that men want sex more than women. It’s such a common societal belief, it’s been ingrained within our culture, way of thinking, and even psychological research (that has shown just that). But what if that entire belief system is wrong? What if women want sex just as much as men, but simply respond to prompts regarding casual sex very differently?

Women, unlike men, have two very real fears connected to sex — being judged by society (or their friends or family) for engaging in casual sex, and, fear of physical harm from an encounter with a stranger. Men have neither of these worries. So any study of women’s sexual behavior would have to work to take these fears into account.

Baranowksi & Hecht (2015) managed to design a study that did just that, by coming up with an elaborate cover story that helped allay these fears in women participants. Previous studies found most men but no women would take up the opportunity for casual sex with a stranger when approached on a college campus. This study, however, found something more surprising — all of the men and nearly all of the women chose to meet up for a date or sex with at least one partner. With the right set of circumstances, women’s and men’s drives for casual sex look a lot alike.

  1. Political diversity will improve social psychological science

While we rely on researchers to be unbiased and objective, unconscious beliefs seep into every researcher’s work. So it was a little disturbing to learn about the lack of diversity in the field when it comes to the topic of politics: “Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years” (Duarte et al., 2015). The paper detailed the current lack of diversity in the field with suggestions on future improvements.

  1. Does Product Placement Change Television Viewers’ Social Behavior?

This paper is noteworthy because it conducted a large psychological experiment on an entire population of individuals without their knowledge or consent. Similar to Facebook’s manipulation of its users’ newsfeeds (also without their knowledge or consent), a Spanish-language soap opera inserted eight propaganda messages about health, safety, and community building (e.g., dangers of drunk driving, importance of voting, etc.) to see what real-world effects such messaging might have. The messages were seen by an audience of nearly 1.2 million people per week.

The researchers didn’t find much real-world impact related to the messaging, except for a temporary spike in visitors to one of the organization’s websites mentioned in one of the messages. As investigators continue to push ethical boundaries in psychological research, studies such as this demonstrate that they may not be worth the ethical risk (Paluck et al., 2015).

This is an article sourced from  “

Women’s Harassment at the work place in Pakistan


In this industrial and capitalist era where employment is the need of each and every individual of household, there comes the serious problem of harassment at work places in offices, factories, schools and other bureaucratic institutions. The increased harassment in workplace has been a major issue under discussion by human rights organizations.

Research tells that in male-dominate jobs, women are more prone to cases of harassment. The male employees are in some societies habitual of sexual jokes, in this way they sexualize the work place, and the situation becomes worse when females participate in them. This creates chaos and confusion resulting in psychological distress for women. Complaints about headache, severe neck pain, back pain, digestion problems, chronic stress and physical weaknesses have been reported.

In another case, those women who are more competitive in the market place are vulnerable to be harassed by men, as they want to be assertive on job. Therefore, men may engage in leg pulling and back biting. Consequences of this attitude spreads rumors and defames women’s’ character. Labeling them as  “characterless” women is a social evil that needs to be eradicated & solved. Thus, the attack on women’s character has been a very serious flaw of some people in society. Such behavior needs to be corrected and people needs to be educated in this regard. For the sake of official positions men should not forget ethical and normative means to gain more benefits and profits /Payoffs.

Considering women only as sex-tools and glamorous icons is the misperception of, some of today’s modernized society. Due to these reasons women of today are over qualified, yet are sometimes unable to attain or keep jobs of higher position in any organizations. A balance between the professional work and domestic work in some industrialized societies is urgently required. Social scientists are probing the fact that the consequences of not being able to attain this balance, will force the present generation and the future ones to confront newer levels of challenges.  Those ladies, who have successfully managed both the worlds i.e. of work and home, are entitled as “Super Moms”.

Gender pay gap is another issue effecting women’s worth at the work place. Working for low wages for long hours and then still earning lesser then their male counterparts is also a form of harassment, leading to women’s ignorance and devaluation in the workplace. Research shows that women only get out of homes when there is any kind of emergency, so as a result they are submissive and emotional at the workplace which gives men more chances to involve them in any kind of sexual act. Subliminal messages and other sexual hints by males negatively affect their work performance.

Labor Unions and other women based organizations have been working for the rights of women. Proper counseling to hear and help solve their issues of them, have been initiated in many areas of Pakistan. Good governance and maintenance of healthy office environment for both male and females is being implemented. Although it is a good start, there is still far to go for these organizations to make a significant impact to improving women’s condition in today’s society

The following post has been authored by a guest blogger. The views reflected in this blog are strictly the author’s own. 

Sleep hygiene


1. Be Regular:
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time muhammadalieveryday even on weekends and holidays.  This regular rhythm will make you feel better.

2. Only Sleep When Sleepy:
Only try to sleep when you actually feel tired or sleepy, rather than spending too much time awake in bed.

3. Get Up & Try Again:
If you haven’t been able to sleep for more than 20 minutes then it’s time to get up from bed and try something else.  Do something calming or boring until you feel sleepy, then return to bed and try again. This can include doing random math sums in your head or even counting sheep. Avoid doing anything that is too stimulating or interesting, as this will wake you up even more.

4. Cut Off Tea Coffee And Cigarettes:
Although it is in favor of your health that you stop taking nicotine and caffeine completely even then if you feel you can’t stop for good you must stop taking these 2 chemicals at least 5 to 6 hours before you intend to sleep. Sources of caffeine include Cola, coffee, tea chocolate and cigarettes and even some medications.

5. Bed is for Sleeping Only:
Try not to use your bed for anything other than sleeping, so that your body comes to associate bed with sleep. If you use bed as a place to watch TV, eat, read, work on your laptop, pay bills, and other things, your body will not learn this connection.

6. No Naps:
It is best to avoid taking naps during the day, to make sure that you are tired at bedtime. or max less than 1 hour during the day.

7. Sleep Rituals:
You can develop your own rituals of things to remind your body that it is time to sleep –
My sleep rituals
1. Water in same glass
6. Hot milk
7. Express gratitude

8. Bath Time:
Having a hot bath 1-2 hours before bedtime can be useful, as it will raise your body temperature, causing you to feel sleepy as your body temperature drops again.

9. No Clock-Watching:
Don’t be very concerned about looking at the clock that will increase your anxiety.

10. Use a Sleep Diary:
Note down any thoughts that are recurrent in your mind if you awaken during sleep. Make a careful note especially if the thoughts are persistent.

11. Exercise:
Regular exercise is a good idea to help with good sleep, but try not to do strenuous exercise in the 4 hours before bedtime. Morning walks are a great way to start the day feeling refreshed!

12. Eat Right:
A healthy, balanced diet will help you to sleep well, but timing is important. Always have a light dinner atleast 2 hours before sleeping. Some people recommend a warm glass of milk, which contains tryptophan, which acts as a natural sleep inducer.

13. The Right Space:
It is very important that your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable for sleeping. A cooler room with enough blankets to stay warm is best, and make sure you have curtains to block out early morning light and earplugs if there is noise outside your room.

14. Keep Daytime Routine The Same:
Even if you have a bad night sleep and are tired it is important that you try to keep your daytime activities the same as you had planned. That is, don’t avoid activities because you feel tired. This can reinforce the insomnia.

The Dos and Don’ts of Parenting

Here are some healthy supportive habits that would do your child a world of good.

  1. Find out about “age appropriate behavior”. This is a fancy term we psychologists use to compare a child to his peers. But even these standards of comparison are not set in stone. Normal can sometimes appear alien and strange to a parent’s eyes. Understand that comparing your child’s life to your own life as a child is the biggest mistake that some well meaning parents can make.
  2. Never start lecturing your child over what you assumed happened.  Always ask questions. Just because you’re a parent does not mean you’re infallible.
  3. Don’t set your child up for failure by unconsciously giving them too much to do or too much responsibility. No child can completely self-govern themselves. There is a reason we are their parents and part of the job is walking the fine line between monitoring their activities providing just enough help when needed and encouraging their freedom and self helping behavior.
  4. You can’t teach your child to be trustworthy if you yourself are going to engage in behaviors that are less than honest. Always be honest about what you say, mean, and intend to do. Assuming that your child will understand in due time is not good enough.
  5. It is okay to be hawk-eyed. Although it’s never okay to pester and nag, making sure that your child is safe from time to time is your right and responsibility as a parent.   Make sure you don’t miss the signs that your child is indulging in less than healthy habits such as addiction, premarital sex, high risk behavior and experimentation of other kinds.
  6. Know about appropriate punishment. Over punishing a child can have detrimental effects on your relationship with the child; it can affect her self esteem and build resentments that can last a lifetime.