Posted by Catherine Woodlock
For the month of Movember we want to honour the struggles that men come up against in relation to their health. In regards to gender equality, men generally experience multiple advantages, yet these do not translate into better health outcomes. Men face some unique inequalities in the realm of their health and longevity.
According to an article from the WHO, women are outliving men by between 5.3 years and 11.6 years depending on what country they live in. Furthermore, between 1970 and 2010 the gap in life expectancy between men and women has widened to men’s disadvantage over that 40 year period.
So where has this gender gap come from and why has it widened? According to a WHO European review, men’s poor survival rates may reflect the following factors:
– Greater occupational exposure to physical and chemical hazards
– Behaviours associated with male norms of risk-taking and adventure
– Health behaviour paradigms related to masculinity
– The fact that men are less likely to visit a doctor when they fall ill
– The fact that when they see a doctor they are less likely to report the symptoms of disease or illness
By bringing awareness to these issues we can help to moderate these factors. And while the first two issues are less changeable as they are generally more societal, we can most certainly work with the last three to help improve men’s health.
It is essential to work with the male community to encourage men to reach out for the care that they need and deserve. Please check out our blog throughout the month of Movember to read about more strategies to improve men’s health!