Beyond masculine stereotypes: Moving men’s health promotion forward in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There has been increased interest in men's health over the past two decades. A major focus has been on men's apparent reluctance to seek health-related help. As such, innovative methods to facilitate health promotion engagement and preventive health practices among men have emerged. Men's health promotion activity in Australia has paid particular attention to settings and social marketing approaches. These, more often than not, have been aligned to hegemonic constructions of masculinity. As such, traditional gender-roles are perpetuated, which may, despite best intentions, reinforce negative health behaviours among men. However, the health promotion community is well positioned to strategically free men from the constraints of hegemonic masculinity. By paying attention to commentary relating to the social construction of gender, an alternative pathway is evident. Of particular interest is discussion relating to multiple masculinities, in contrast to one dominant form. This opens the door to develop a range of health promotion interventions targeted to specific groups of men, including those that are most marginalised and disadvantaged. In doing so, health inequities among men relating to age, class, sexuality, race and ethnicity can be more purposefully addressed. This paper explores the intersection between current health promotion practice and recent commentary relating to gender. I conclude by suggesting that health promotion researchers, practitioners and policy makers need to account for multiple masculinities in the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of health promotion activities aimed at men in order to move men's health promotion forward in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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