The Influence of Toxic Masculinity on the Smoking Behavior Among Young Indonesian Fathers

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Nur Rohmah
Mark S. Felix
Darunee Phukao
Francois R. Lamy


Domestic secondhand smoke endangers the health of children. Nevertheless, this behavior persists in Indonesia, where up to 72% of men smoke in homes despite national intervention efforts to reduce such behavior. This qualitative exploratory research focused on why young Indonesian fathers continue to smoke cigarettes at home despite knowing about the dangers of secondhand smoke by investigating the influence of masculinity on their choices. Thirty young fathers, all active smokers, were recruited for semi-structured in-depth qualitative interviews. The process of coding data from grounded theory was used to interpret collected data, although grounded theory itself was not the theoretical framework used by this research. Findings indicate that smoking is essential to Indonesia’s socially constructed image of masculinity. Toxic masculinity was observed throughout the participants’ smoking trajectory, expressing itself through the stigmatization of non-smokers, display of financial success through expensive cigarettes, and health risk-taking. Low trust in official health messages and the use of neutralization techniques to justify their smoking behavior drive young fathers to continue smoking. Participants appear to have adopted a variation of toxic masculinity by creating strategies to conciliate the role of a caring father and the part of a man who smokes cigarettes. By being able to legitimize their smoking continuation, participants unintentionally maintain the cycle of male smoking in which children witness older men smoking and link tobacco smoking with masculinity.

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Rohmah, N., Felix, M. S., Phukao, D., & Lamy, F. R. (2023). The Influence of Toxic Masculinity on the Smoking Behavior Among Young Indonesian Fathers. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 31, 652–671. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biography

Nur Rohmah, Department of Society and Health, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand

Corresponding author


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