'It's caveman stuff, but that is to a certain extent how guys still operate': men's accounts of masculinity and help seeking

O'Brien, R., Hunt, K. and Hart, G. (2005) 'It's caveman stuff, but that is to a certain extent how guys still operate': men's accounts of masculinity and help seeking. Social Science and Medicine, 61(3), pp. 503-516. (doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.12.008)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.12.008

Abstract

It is often assumed that men are reluctant to seek medical care. However, despite growing interest in masculinity and men's health, few studies have focussed on men's experiences of consultation in relation to their constructions of masculinity. Those that have are largely based on men with diseases of the male body (testicular and prostate cancer) or those which have been stereotyped as male (coronary heart disease). This paper presents discussions and experiences of help seeking and its relation to, and implications for, the practice of masculinity amongst a diversity of men in Scotland, as articulated in focus group discussions. The discussions did indeed suggest a widespread endorsement of a 'hegemonic' view that men 'should' be reluctant to seek help, particularly amongst younger men. However, they also included instances which questioned or went against this apparent reluctance to seek help. These were themselves linked with masculinity: help seeking was more quickly embraced when it was perceived as a means to preserve or restore another, more valued, enactment of masculinity (e.g. working as a fire-fighter, or maintaining sexual performance or function). Few other studies have emphasised how men negotiate deviations from the hegemonic view of help-seeking.

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., Hunt, K., and Hart, G.
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:Social Science and Medicine
ISSN:0277-9536
Published Online:16 February 2005

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