Men’s health-risk and protective behaviors: The effects of masculinity and masculine norms.

Previous research has examined men’s health in relation to women’s functioning and compared morbidity and mortality rates among specific subgroups of men using demographic features. More recent research expands these approaches by also examining how men’s thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors influence health-related attitudes and behaviors. The endorsement and internalization of masculinity is generally associated with more negative health behaviors and engagement in fewer health-protective behaviors. However, research to date does not offer a clear and consistent conceptualization of those specific masculine norms that might facilitate or act as a barrier to men adopting healthier behaviors. The current study examines data from 376 men between the ages of 18 and 25 to determine whether health-risk and protective behaviors are predicted by specific masculine norms, when controlling for demographic variables. Findings suggest men’s endorsement of specific masculine norms predicted more health-protective than health-risk behaviors, although the proportion of the variance explained by specific masculine norms was higher for health-risk behaviors than health-protective behaviors. Demographic variables also predicted both health-risk and protective factors. Results from the current study are presented within the context of two previous studies (Levant & Wimer, 2014; Levant, Wimer, & Williams, 2011), highlighting both similarities and additional contributions. Results provide a strong rationale for considering the influence of masculine norms on men’s health behaviors, especially within the context of health promotion, prevention, and intervention programs by healthcare providers and clinicians. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)