Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Strong Silent Types - Rewriting Masculine Gender Scripts . . . about Seeking Healthcare

Excellent - if you care about men, male studies, and issues impacting men, you should be reading Strong Silent Types - Stuff About Men. This post looks at research about males beliefs around seeking healthcare.

This is just one of many areas where we need to change our gender scripts, but this one kills us, so it's crucial we adjust our beliefs.

Gast J, & Peak T (2010). “It Used to Be That if It Weren’t Broken and Bleeding Profusely, I Would Never Go to the Doctor”: Men, Masculinity, and Health. American journal of men’s health PMID: 20798142

Any article (2010, n.pag.) that starts by protesting that we have focussed too much on women’s health and that now it is the turn of us men, again, has got to be good value. It is true, right, that for years and years everyone has been banging on about such mundane topics as domestic violence, sexual assault, and reproductive rights. It must be time to swing the spotlight back and once more look at why so many men are so doggedly good at dying yonks before their stipulated use-by dates. Search me; seriously: what does improving our understanding of men’s poor health have to do with promoting positive health for women, anyway?

Like Gast and Peak (2010), I too lament the fact that there is not nearly enough positive health promotion directed toward men. We roll out the grim morbidity and mortality statistics, tell the horrible stories of death and destruction and abject pig-headedness but then concoct men’s health policy that ‘blames’ women, service providers, governments, and so forth. Ne’er an elephant should stroll into that room and utter the common sense, that is, that men need to ‘learn how to save their own lives’ (2010). What I would alternatively describe as, the opportunity for men to start to live well, such that ill health and hastened death are nipped in the bud.

So is it much ado about ‘masculine gender scripts’, then, as Gast and Peak (2010) suggest?

Read the whole post.

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