"Standing out from the herd": men renegotiating masculinity in relation to their experience of illness

O'Brien, R., Hart, G.J. and Hunt, K. (2007) "Standing out from the herd": men renegotiating masculinity in relation to their experience of illness. International Journal of Men's Health, 6(3), pp. 178-200. (doi: 10.3149/jmh.0603.178)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3149/jmh.0603.178

Abstract

In this paper we investigate whether a mental illness (i.e., depression) presents different challenges to masculinity than those experienced in relation to a stereotypically male disease (i.e., coronary heart disease [CHD]) and a gender-specific disease (i.e., prostate cancer). Fifty-nine men from central Scotland participated in 15 focus groups, and nine took part in individual interviews between June 1999 and February 2001. We found that masculinity is negotiated and re-negotiated by men in the light of the limitations placed on them by their own and others' understandings of the social and personal consequences of these diseases. Participants with depression believed that if their mental illness was made visible to others it would distinguish them from other men with less "feminized" illnesses or injury. There remains a taboo for men reflected in the absence of discussion of this issue between them in disclosing and help-seeking with regard to depressive illness.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Professor Kathryn and O'Brien, Dr Rosaleen and Hart, Prof Graham
Authors: O'Brien, R., Hart, G.J., and Hunt, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:International Journal of Men's Health
ISSN:1532-6306
ISSN (Online):1933-0278
Published Online:26 October 2007

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