Masculinity and Young Men’s Health essay

1. Scales of masculinity

The attention of the researcher who decided to take a closer look at the masculinity is drawn first to the traits or so called scales that define masculinity. According to the researches, there are ten traits that serve for determination of masculinity:

”˜1) physiological energy;

2) physical characteristics;

3) gender-related socio-cultural roles;

4) idealized gender;

5) gender preferences;

6) subjective gender-identity;

7) gender-related age identity;

8) gender-related racial and national identities;

9) lust;

10) male eroticism.’ (Chesebro and Fuse, 2001)


2. The attitude of young males towards health

In accordance to the latest health care trends, there is a tendency to actively engage young males and boys into the family planning process. But as Marcell et al. (2008) claim there is a lack of motivation for young males to apply for health care services a frequent as female do.

In addition, the seeking of health services may even be considered as demonstration of weakness or not masculine behavior. According to the various researches such as Marcell, Raine, & Eyre (2003) and reproductive health and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention aren’t not among the priorities of the young men, in comparison to other aspects of their lives.

Royster (2006) point out that overall men have poorer health than women and it is especially applies to African American men. His research has proved that the major barriers to health for young males were certain aspects of male gender socialization. It involves the following elements: as unhealthy diet, limited exercise, unsafe sex, and substance abuse. (Royster, 2006)

As a practical example of the study of male audience and its attitudes towards health, the research by O’Kane (2008) dedicated to rural Australian men including farmers could be suggested for discussion. Author has managed to identify barriers to the healthy lifestyle experienced by the sample audience. According to this research, ”˜the major barriers to eating a healthy diet were lack of willpower (39%), lack of time (24%) and enjoying eating “unhealthy” foods (24%). Barriers to undertaking physical activity were lack of time (43%), lack of willpower (36%), tiredness (27%) and long hours in sedentary jobs (27%). Eating habits could be improved with simple weekly meal plans (49%), lower cost of healthy food (36%), and growing their own food (34%). More active recreational pursuits could improve physical activity participation (48%). These solutions target efforts to improve health outcomes for rural Australian men.’ (O’Kane, 2008) The results of study presented by O’Kane (2008) are very useful for the analysis; they describe the lifestyle of local young males and may serve as an example for similar researches of the problem in other areas.

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