Tod durch Männlichkeit

LONDON – In den Nachrichten hören wir immer wieder von Gefahren für unsere Gesundheit durch Alltagshandlungen. Aber das vielleicht größte und bis jetzt am meisten vernachlässigte Gesundheitsrisiko geht von Geschlechternormen aus.

Trotz überwältigender Beweise dafür, dass geschlechtliche Stereotypen und Erwartungen die Gesundheit negativ beeinflussen können, werden geschlechtsspezifische Gesundheitsprobleme weitgehend ignoriert oder missverstanden. Internationale Gesundheitsorganisationen beschränken ihre Bemühungen oft auf Frauen oder gar lediglich auf Mütter. Frauen aber können damit rechnen, in allen außer drei Ländern weltweit länger als Männer zu leben, bis zu sieben Jahre in Japan oder nur ein Jahr in den ärmeren Ländern südlich der Sahara.

Die höhere Lebenserwartung von Frauen wird seit langem einer unterschiedlichen „biologischen Veranlagung“ zugeschrieben. Die Theorien zur Erklärung reichen vom Schutz durch einen niedrigeren Eisengehalt bei Frauen bis hin zur Abwesenheit „überzähliger“ Gene oder des männlichen Y-Chromosoms. Aber einige der offensichtlichsten Faktoren, die das Leben der Männer verkürzen, liegen in einem grundlegenderen, aber trotzdem politisch relevanten Bereich: den Unterschieden des „angemessenen“ Verhaltens von Männern und Frauen, die von der Gesellschaft auferlegt und vom Markt verstärkt werden.

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