This literature review examines the phenomena of Inceldom through the prism of hegemonic masculinity, concluding that the identity of an Incel derives from toxic masculine norms and attitudes from fringe online social movements. Incels are contradictory in that they both conform to and reject hegemonic masculinity. They conform in their aspiration to acquire goals that align with what is typically thought of as masculine—such as assertiveness or sexual dominance—while believing they are unable to do so because of their inadequacies. The dissociation between conformity and rejection leads them to adopt a defeatist worldview by not living up to the masculine archetype, often resulting in significant mental health problems. These detrimental effects to their mental health apply more broadly to men who have difficulty fitting with the expectations of masculinity. What separates most men from Incels is the Incels’ fatalistic attitude, leading them to self-destruction and potentially violence. The potential violence amongst Incels derives from the norms and attitudes of masculinity, normalizing violence and aggression as acceptable emotional responses for men. It is thus important to recognize how masculinity creates these norms and attitudes to address them before resulting in mental health problems in men and potentially violence.
"The Anatomy of Inceldom: An Analysis of Incels Through the Lens of Gender,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 9
, Article 3.