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Correspondence to Gavin Yamey email: yameyg globalhealth. Submitted: 07 November — Revised version received: 12 February — Accepted: 19 February — Published online: 06 March Bulletin of the World Health Organization ; In most parts of the world, health outcomes among boys and men continue to be substantially worse than among girls and women, yet this gender-based disparity in health has received little national, regional or global acknowledgement or attention from health policy-makers or health-care providers. That men tend to be in worse health than women has now been made clear by robust evidence from various sources.

The Global Burden of Disease study led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in GBD study showed that throughout the period from to , women had a longer life expectancy than men.

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By , on the whole women were outliving men by an average of almost six years. Eastern Europe showed the biggest difference in life expectancy between men and women: women in the Russian Federation were outliving men by an average of In many societies, men generally enjoy more opportunities, privileges and power than women, yet these multiple advantages do not translate into better health outcomes.

What explains this gender disparity?

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How much more likely to die are men than women as a result of risk-taking behaviours? In , 3. Several recent studies in Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe suggest that notions of masculinity not only increase the risk of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus HIV , but they also inhibit men from getting tested for HIV, coming to terms with their HIV-positive status, taking instructions from nurses, and engaging in health-enabling behaviours. These researchers note, for example, that disproportionately fewer men than women access ART across Africa, that men start ART later in the disease course than women, and that men are more likely than women to interrupt treatment and be lost to follow-up.

Finally, the highly gendered nature of employment in all societies translates into men being more exposed to occupationally related morbidity and mortality than women. Compounding this neglect by policy-makers are negative stereotypes of men on the part of many health-care providers. For instance, some assume that men are largely disinterested in their health — an attitude that can, in turn, discourage men from engaging with health services.

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Men's health and illness : gender, power, and the body

Any serious effort to improve public health must include attention to the health needs of both sexes and responsiveness to the differences between them. Taking action is not just a matter of equity; it is also a matter of economics. White et al. A third crucial area for policy is to target health services and health promotion towards marginalized men, men from minority populations, men in prison populations and men who have sex with men — all of whom have a higher burden of disease and early death than other men.

Three types of intervention targeting men have emerged in recent years — outreach, partnership and gender transformation — and there is now evidence to support all three approaches. Interventions in high-income countries e. Australia, the United States and countries of western Europe have generally involved outreach efforts aimed at men in pubs and bars, sports clubs, barber shops, schools and the workplace, with a focus on weight loss, smoking cessation and other lifestyle changes. In a recent randomized controlled trial of a gender-sensitized weight loss and healthy living programme for overweight or obese male soccer fans at 13 Scottish professional soccer clubs, the intervention led to significant weight loss.

For example, research in Ghana has shown that child vaccination programmes designed to involve fathers not just mothers in decisions about their children's use of preventive health services may increase timely immunization coverage levels.


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A third approach, which is being increasingly supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials and other types of studies, is to support interventions aimed at gender transformation. These aim to reshape male gender roles in ways that lead to more equitable relationships between women and men. Such interventions can increase protective sexual behaviours, prevent intimate partner violence, modify inequitable attitudes linked to gender, and reduce sexually transmitted infections.

Global, regional and national health and development agencies could certainly learn from the success of civil society groups in promoting policies that target men. The GBD study has, we hope, helped to raise awareness of the excess burden of morbidity and mortality in men. Concerted global action to reduce this burden could have a transformative social, health and economic impact.

It is time to not only acknowledge the benefits of such action to men, but also to recognize and measure its potential benefits to women, children and society as a whole. SLD reports no relevant competing interests.

Violence against women—it's a men's issue: Jackson Katz at TEDxFiDiWomen

ST declares that he has no relevant competing interests. Health Topics. World Health Statistics. About Us. Skip to main content. The purpose of the series is to gather together the finest empirical research in the social sciences that focuses on the experiences of men in contemporary society. Following the pioneering research of feminist scholars over the past two decades, social scientists have come to recognize gender as one of the primary axes around which social life is organized. Gender is now seen as equally central as class and race, both at the macrostructural level of the allocation and distribution of rewards in a hierarchical society, and at the micropsychological level of individual identity formation and interpersonal interaction.

Social scientists distinguish gender from sex. Sex refers to biology, the biological dimorphic division of male and female; gender refers to the cultural meanings that are attributed to those biological differences. Although biological sex varies little, the cultural meanings of gender vary enormously. Thus, we speak of gender as socially constructed; the definitions of masculinity and femininity as the products of the interplay among a variety of social forces. In particular, we understand gender to vary spatially from one culture to another , temporally within any one culture over historical time , and longitudinally through any individual's life course.

Finally, we understand that different groups within any culture may define masculinity and femininity differently, according to subcultural definitions; race, ethnicity, age, class, sexuality, and region of the country all affect our different gender definitions.


  • A Theory of Fields.
  • What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent Career;
  • The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men.
  • Men's Health?
  • Literature and Legal Discourse: Equity and Ethics from Sterne to Conrad.

It is the goal of this series to explore the varieties of men's experiences, remaining mindful of specific differences among men, and also be aware of the mechanisms of power that inform both men's relations with women and men's relations with other men. This volume helps us understand those dynamics as men relate to the inner workings of their bodies.

We gratefully acknowledge the support and vision of Michael Kimmel, who nudged and inspired us at critical junctures. We thank Jim Doyle for his generous support and Judith Lorber for her feedback of our earlier ideas. Finally, we thank our contributors for their insights, labor, and sticktuitiveness. Sabo, Sr. Dave dedicates this book to his parents, Fred and Viola, with thanks for their love, guidance, and encouragement. Jeffrey S.


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He has published numerous journal articles on men's roles as caregivers across the life cycle and is a coauthor of the book Men as Caregivers to the Elderly: Understanding and Aiding Unrecognized Family Supports. Canetto is the author of numerous articles on gender, life-threatening behaviors, family, aging, and the editor of a book with David Lester on Women and Suicidal Behavior.

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Her research interests include the experience of chronic illness, the development and change of self, and the sociology of time. Currently, she has several projects, including an empirical [Page ] study of bodily experience in health and illness, didactic works on qualitative research, and epistemological critiques of postmodernism. Thomas J. His research focuses on identity and marginalized and alternative masculinities.

His research focuses on the self and its relationship to major transitions in life such as joining new religious groups and surviving cancer. He is a survivor of testicular cancer himself, and he is continuing to interview other survivors of this disease.

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Vicki S. Her research interests include how the socialization of men and women contributes to their psychological and physical health and how cognitions perceived control, optimism, deriving meaning from the experience enhance adjustment to chronic illness such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. She is also a member of the editorial board of Health Psychology and is a consulting editor for the Journal of Men's Studies. Alan M. His areas of research include sport ethnography, Latin American sport, masculinity, and political economy.

Lenard W. He has published more than 70 journal articles and book chapters on issues in elder caregiving, long-term care advocacy, home health and adult day care, marketing techniques in the human services, retirement lifestyles, and social work curriculum development. Kaye sits on the board of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

He has recently conducted research on self-help support groups for older women and on the delivery of high technology home health care services to older adults. William G.