La mort au masculin

LONDRES – Les médias d’actualité ne cessent de nous avertir des risques que présentent nos activités quotidiennes pour notre santé. Or, il se pourrait bien que le risque sanitaire mondial le plus considérable, bien que négligé, réside dans les normes liées aux genres masculin et féminin.

Malgré la solidité des preuves du caractère néfaste des stéréotypes et des préjugés basés sur le genre à l’égard de notre santé, les problématiques sanitaires liées aux sexes sont en grande partie ignorées ou mal comprises, les organisations sanitaires internationales limitant bien souvent les efforts sexospécifiques aux femmes ou, de manière encore plus étroite, aux mères de famille. Pourtant, selon l’Organisation mondiale de la santé, dans la totalité des États du monde à l’exception de trois d’entre eux, les femmes peuvent s’attendre à vivre plus longtemps que les hommes, de sept ans de plus au Japon à seulement un an dans un certain nombre de pays plus pauvres d’Afrique sub-saharienne.

La supériorité de l’espérance de vie des femmes a longtemps été associée à certaines « prédispositions biologiques, » les différentes théories faisant par exemple valoir une meilleure protection chez les femmes en raison d’une quantité de fer plus faible, ou encore l’absence de gènes « supplémentaires » sur le chromosome Y masculin. Certains des facteurs les plus évidents en direction du raccourcissement de l’existence masculine sont néanmoins de nature plus terre à terre, bien que politiquement délicate, résidant bel et bien dans des différences de comportements « appropriés » à l’endroit des hommes et des femmes, dictés par la société et renforcés par le marché.

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