While it is true that we live in a world where the lines between what it means to be male or female are blurring, there is no point in denying that there are genetic, and cultural, differences which still exist. Unless you are one who is caught up in the current trend of dismissing any consideration of sex and gender differences within your personal life, you are likely to benefit from the environment which is provided at a same-sex treatment facility.
Being identified as a male comes with a unique territory of experiences, perspectives, and expectations. Males are barraged with ideas of manhood from an early age. They are advised by their grandfathers and can struggle to meet the expectations of fathers. They are taught how to behave as a boy – sometimes cruelly – by other boys on the playground, and have their levels of testosterone as continual prompters. A treatment plan for recovery which takes into account the distinguishable characteristics of what it means to become a man is one which acknowledges that the needs of males are unique.
Opportunity for Customized Treatment
Anyone who remembers sitting in a public school classroom can understand the difficulty which arises when there are multiple students, with differing backgrounds and comprehension levels, all trying to learn the same thing. This experience doesn’t change just because we become adults. It can still be a trying experience to wait for the needs of others to be addressed before our own learning can take place.
The potential increase in success rates for sex-segregated programs is something that is typically studied in the educational settings. While results do vary, there are many experts who suggest that students who are in a sex-specific program do better than those who attempt to learn within a mixed-sex classroom. These studies point to differences between the ways that males and females learn and process information. These same types of experiences can be applied to the learning which takes place in a sober living home program. Catering a recovery program to the particular strengths of males means that more specific content can be covered, and can be processed in less time.
A Potential Lack of Distractions
Humans are biologically prone to seek out a mate. With over 90% of the American population identifying as heterosexual, the chances of a male in an all-male treatment facility being distracted by flirting behaviors is slim. Being free from the temptation to put self-improvement goals aside for the purpose of wooing a female leaves room for more focus on recovery. You won’t have to worry too much about how you smell, or about making sure to shave before a meeting.
It is generally recommended that people in recovery do not seek to form a romantic relationship during the first year of sobriety. The rationale behind this admonition has to do with the amount of energy that is necessary for an individual in recovery to expend toward self-work. The initial months of recovery are intended to be a time of introspection and self reflection. There are old wounds to uncover and deal with. There are dysfunctional patterns of thinking and reacting which need to be reprogrammed. Getting into a romantic relationship before we are fully healed, ourselves, can be a recipe for disaster.
If you happen to be someone who is already in a committed relationship before entering recovery, it is likely the case that your partner will appreciate that you are not going to be spending time around a lot of females, too. While jealousy can be an unreasonable and destructive force, there is valid room for a bit of worry when our partner is spending more quality time with someone other than ourselves. Assuring your significant other that you will just be hanging out with a bunch of guys can help ease her mind about your time away. Easing her mind about it is likely to translate into less drama during your phone calls and visits at home.
The Healing Power of Empathy
There is a reason that women will get together and share birth stories. It is understood that only women can share that particular experience. Similarly, there are experiences that only men can know. As much as we would like to consider ourselves sensitive to the plight of others, there is always a gap between what we understand and what we have personally experienced. That gap is filled by the application of empathy.
When we are able to share our own stories with others who have walked that mile in our shoes, we experience an immediate sense of validation. There is a feeling of relief which comes from knowing, deep down, that someone else really gets it. While surrounded by your fellow men in your sober living home, the opportunities for this healing experience are readily available.
The Benefits of Camaraderie
Social support is one of our primary needs. While there are some folks who don’t need many friends, it is rare to find someone who doesn’t need at least one. Often, friendships tend to be formed on the basis of sharing things in common. Other times, friendships are formed simply on the basis of availability. As a male in an all-male sober living home, you have the option of forming friendships from both angles. You will be sharing things in common, and you will be exposed to a ready-made group of potential friends.
In addiction, it is often the case that our social circle consists of other substance abusers. While surrounded by others in your sober living home, you have the opportunity to create new, healthy, ties. Everyone there is bound by the common thread of wanting to make a positive change in their lives, and share with you a commitment to eliminating drug and alcohol use as a factor. Having a team of like-minded brothers at your back can make the journey much easier than any attempts to go at it on your own.