Morte por Masculinidade

LONDRES – Os meios de comunicação social estão constantemente a relatar os modos em que as actividades quotidianas podem prejudicar a nossa saúde. Mas talvez o risco de saúde global com maior alcance, porém ignorado, tenha origem nas normas de género.

Apesar das provas esmagadoras de que os estereótipos e as expectativas de género podem ter um impacto adverso na saúde, as questões de saúde relacionadas com o género são em grande parte ignoradas ou mal compreendidas, com as organizações internacionais de saúde muitas vezes limitando os esforços específicos de género às mulheres ou, ainda mais estritamente, às mães. E no entanto, de acordo com a Organização Mundial de Saúde, em todos os países do mundo com excepção de três, as mulheres podem esperar viver mais que os homens, desde até sete anos mais no Japão, até por tão pouco como um ano, nos países mais pobres da África Subsaariana.

A maior esperança de vida das mulheres é desde há muito relacionada com diferenças na “predisposição biológica”, com teorias que vão desde a protecção conferida às mulheres pelos seus níveis mais baixos de ferro, até à ausência de genes “extra” no cromossoma Y dos homens. Mas alguns dos factores mais óbvios que encurtam as vidas dos homens podem ser encontrados numa área mais corriqueira, mas mais sensível do ponto de vista político: as diferenças nos comportamentos “apropriados” a homens e mulheres, tal como ditados pela sociedade e reforçados pelo mercado.

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