Posts tagged: Man Box

The Cost Of The Culture Of Masculinity

By , December 2, 2011 3:31 pm

The U.K. Guardian published a piece by two professors about the human and financial cost of “masculine culture.” On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (which was November 25th) Cynthia Cockburn and Ann Oakley made the case that men – who aren’t held accountable in that day’s name or mandate – are the overwhelming perpetrators of violence.

The fact that men are mainly responsible for violent and health-harming behaviours, not only against women and children but also against each other, is so taken for granted that it slips beneath the radar of commentators and policymakers.

The authors quote numerous statistics to make their point:

In 2009-10, men were perpetrators in 91% of all violent incidents in England and Wales. The figures vary by type of incident: 81% for domestic violence, 86% for assault, 94% for wounding, 96% for mugging, 98% for robbery. [U.K. Ministry of Justice] figures for 2009 show men to be responsible for 98%, 92% and 89% of sexual offences, drug offences and criminal damage respectively. Of child sex offenders, 99% are male. The highest percentages of female offences concern fraud and forgery (30%), and theft and handling stolen goods (21% female).

Men even commit more traffic and speeding violations – 87% and 81% respectively. Men are responsible for the vast majority of dangerous driving offenses (97%) and accidents causing injury or death (94%).

On the financial side, the Cockburn and Oakley project the money saved from injuries of the crimes themselves, lost work and productivity, and the costs of trying and incarcerating criminals would be in the tens of billions of British pounds.

I don’t doubt any of these numbers. I’m sure the statistics trend similarly in the United States. Our prisoners are overwhelming male: over 90%. And I wouldn’t be surprised if prison costs in the U.S. were even more than in the U.K. given our comparatively larger prison population.

Cockburn and Oakley conclude with:

The case we are making is that certain widespread masculine traits and behaviours are dangerous and costly both to individuals and society. They are amenable to purposeful change. The culture of masculinity can be, and should be, addressed as a policy issue.

Ok, but how?

Continue reading 'The Cost Of The Culture Of Masculinity'»

Male ER Visits From Underage Drinking Doubles On July 4th

By , July 3, 2011 11:55 pm

Underage drinking is a problem on The 4th Of July.

Especially for young men.

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, finds that alcohol-related emergency room visits for men under 21 doubles when we celebrate our nation’s independence. ER visits for women under 21 increase on the holiday as well, but not as much as men.

Besides the issue of underage drinking, there’s also the question of why there’s such a big difference between men and women.

Dr. Pete Delaney, director of the Center for Behavioral Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA, said, ”The social reality is that most girls are probably not drinking as heavily as boys, and they’re probably not getting into fights or even driving as much as boys.”

Here is an ABC News clip with Dr. Michael Anderson from UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital:

Hmm. Men (or in this case, boys) engaging in risky behavior that negatively impacts their health in greater numbers than women? Sounds like what doctors were saying a few months ago about some perceived notions of masculinity being unhealthy.

Read the full story about underage ER visits at ABC News.

Have a fun and safe Independence Day!

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When Masculinity Is Unhealthy

By , April 20, 2011 11:54 pm

Did you hear that doctors have found a health risk for men? It’s called “Masculinity.”

That’s what Boston College professor of psychology James Mahalik told Massachusetts State legislators late last month:

Everything from seatbelt use to alcohol use, smoking, sunscreen use, cardiovascular exercise. Men were worse than women in every category of health behavior except weightlifting…Men may view health risk behaviors as masculine. The very way in which society may present masculinity may, in and of its definition, include taking health risks. We can think of the Marlboro man as a very stoic, masculine kind of guy.

This lifestyle, according to Mahalik, leads to men dying an average of 5.4 years younger than women.

Meanwhile, the Journal of Health And Social Behavior just published the study “‘Macho Men’ and Preventive Health Care: Implications for Older Men in Different Social Classes” that showed macho is stronger than money when it comes to seeking healthcare.

The results show that men with strong masculinity beliefs are half as likely as men with more moderate masculinity beliefs to receive preventive care. Furthermore, in contrast to the well-established SES [socioeconomic status] gradient in health, men with strong masculinity beliefs do not benefit from higher education and their probability of obtaining preventive health care decreases as their occupational status, wealth, and/or income increases. Masculinity may be a partial explanation for the paradox of men’s lower life expectancy, despite their higher SES.

A couple more stats: Men’s Health magazine reported that only 67% of men in their 30′s said they visited a primary care doctor in the last year. According to the 2011 Esquire Health Survey, 45% of men polled didn’t have a primary care physician.

Something is clearly wrong if nearly half of men don’t have a regular doctor. What’s wrong is they’re probably not going to any doctor, not just a primary care doctor.

While masculinity itself isn’t unhealthy, as Dr. Mahalik said, “The very way in which society may present masculinity may, in and of its definition, include taking health risks.”

I’m looking at you, Man Box.

Continue reading 'When Masculinity Is Unhealthy'»

The Man Box

By , December 23, 2010 1:59 pm

Put aside 11 minutes to watch this video.

Earlier this month, educator Tony Porter made a presentation at the TEDWomen conference and told his audience, “Without a doubt there are some wonderful, wonderful, absolutely wonderful things about being a man. But at the same time, there’s some stuff that’s straight-up twisted.”

He was talking about the Man Box: The way boys and men are socialized into certain behaviors that are ultimately harmful to themselves and to women. Things like not showing weakness or fear, not being compared to a woman and viewing women as property or objects.

Porter talks about some mistakes he made and learned from as he raised his own son, as well as a horrible story from his childhood about being pressured to have sex with a mentally-challenged teenaged girl.

Porter said, “My liberation of a man is tied to your liberation as a woman.”

The speech is worth your time.

H/t to Ellen for sending me the link.

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