Book Chapter

Men´s health

Brähler, E., Maier, H.

In: Smelser, N. J., Baltes, P. B. (Eds.): International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences, Vol. 14, 9625-9628 (2001)
Oxford: Pergamon/Elsevier Sciences.

ISBN 0-08-043076-7


"The term ´men’s health´ is used here to refer both to the physical and mental health problems that are of concern for men and to health differentials among men. Moreover, when one speaks of “men’s health” one also calls attention to differences in the health and health care needs of boys and men as compared to girls and women. These differences extend far beyond the obvious differences in the reproductive systems. Men in most developed countries suffer more severe chronic conditions than women. They also have higher death rates for most leading causes of death and die about 6 years younger than women on average. Biological and social factors contribute to gender differences in health. From a biological perspective, these gender differences can be attributed to anatomical and physiological differences between men and women. Health behaviors are important factors influencing health and longevity, and men are more likely than women to engage in behaviors that increase the risk of disease and death. A social constructivist approach argues that the practices that undermine men’s health are often signifiers of masculinity and instruments men use in the negotiation of social power and status. Because most of the research on men’s health has been done in developed countries, this review is strongly biased in that direction." (INTRODUCTION)