Thursday, March 6, 2014
Masculinity influencing health.
All of the perspectives of masculinity I have never thought about how it affected the health of men. This is the abstract of an article that examines the influence of masculinity on men's health because men are more likely to be involved in behaviors that will risk their lives. This examines the idea of social constructs being detrimental to a man's health. Many constructs demand that men being strong and fearless sleep with many different women, and engage in dangerous activities to show their masculinity. Men want to be seen as the stronger sex which could possibly cost them their life.
Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men's well-being: a theory of gender and health.
Men in the United States suffer more severe chronic conditions, have higher death rates for all 15 leading causes of death, and die nearly 7 yr younger than women. Health-related beliefs and behaviours are important contributors to these differences. Men in the United States are more likely than women to adopt beliefs and behaviours that increase their risks, and are less likely to engage in behaviours that are linked with health and longevity. In an attempt to explain these differences, this paper proposes a relational theory of men's health from a social constructionist and feminist perspective. It suggests that health-related beliefs and behaviours, like other social practices that women and men engage in, are a means for demonstrating femininities and masculinities. In examining constructions of masculinity and health within a relational context, this theory proposes that health behaviours are used in daily interactions in the social structuring of gender and power. It further proposes that the social practices that undermine men's health are often signifiers of masculinity and instruments that men use in the negotiation of social power and status. This paper explores how factors such as ethnicity, economic status, educational level, sexual orientation and social context influence the kind of masculinity that men construct and contribute to differential health risks among men in the United States. It also examines how masculinity and health are constructed in relation to femininities and to institutional structures, such as the health care system. Finally, it explores how social and institutional structures help to sustain and reproduce men's health risks and the social construction of men as the stronger sex.