Masculinity in young men's health: exploring health, help-seeking and health service use in an online environment

J Health Psychol. 2014 Apr;19(4):457-70. doi: 10.1177/1359105312473784. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Twenty-eight young men took part in two online focus groups exploring understandings of health, help-seeking and health service use. Techniques from Foucauldian discourse analysis were used to elucidate how the young men framed health-related practices within gendered identities in online environments. The discourses are discussed within three discursive themes: 'conceptualising health: everyday health versus "cover man" health', 'help-seeking: the restrictions of masculinity' and 'using health care: legitimising help-seeking through masculine identity'. Young men are interested in their health and construct their health practices as justified while simultaneously maintaining masculine identities surrounding independence, autonomy and control over their bodies.

Keywords: gender; health behaviour; health care; illness; men’s health; qualitative methods.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Masculinity*
  • Men's Health*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Young Adult