Death by Masculinity

Despite overwhelming evidence that gender norms can adversely affect men's health, international health organizations continue to limit gender-specific efforts to women. A new approach is needed that aims to offset the negative impact that socially dictated – and commercially reinforced – gender norms have on men's health.

LONDON – News media are constantly reporting ways that everyday activities can damage our health. But perhaps the most far-reaching yet neglected global health risk stems from gender norms.

Despite overwhelming evidence that gender-based stereotypes and expectations can adversely impact health, gender-related health issues are largely ignored or misunderstood, with international health organizations often limiting gender-specific efforts to women or, even more narrowly, to mothers. And yet, according to the World Health Organization, in all but three countries worldwide, women can expect to outlive men, by up to seven years in Japan or by as little as a year in the poorer countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Women’s longer life expectancy has long been linked to differences in “biological pre-disposition,” with theories ranging from the protection afforded by women’s lower iron levels to the absence of “extra” genes on men’s Y chromosome. But some of the most obvious factors shortening men’s lives are to be found in a more pedestrian, yet politically sensitive, area: the differences in the “appropriate” behaviors for men and women, as dictated by society and reinforced by the market.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/L8OhtcV;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.