How might we understand men's health better? Integrating explanations from critical studies on men and inequalities in health

Soc Sci Med. 2007 Aug;65(3):493-504. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.04.020. Epub 2007 Jun 7.


For researchers interested in understanding men's health, there are two main literatures to harvest. The first is research on men's health arising from the study of men and masculinities. The second is the broader study of inequalities in health, including gender inequalities in health. However, these literatures have remained distinct. This paper seeks to develop a model of understanding men's health from both of these literatures. In order to achieve this integration, this paper argues that studies of men's health should be based on 'critical studies on men' which emerges from feminist theory. Critical studies on men's health is then integrated into the broader explanatory options identified in the health inequality literature in order to provide a more fulsome account of variance within men's health and between the health status of men and women. Given the amenability of men's health issues to interrogation within this resulting framework, it is argued that the inequalities literature should start to include men's health issues in its work.

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Gender Identity*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors