Men's health across the life course: a gender relational (critical) overview
Mateos, José Tomás
Gasch Gallén, Àngel
Álvarez Dardet, Carlos
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The advances made in incorporating a gender approach into public health policies have stimulated growing interest in the social mechanisms of the study of men’s health. Therefore, a more experiential, gender-based analysis that allows for a better understanding of how ill-health processes and exposure to risk factors are related is required. In this paper, based on a rapid review, we focus on the daily circumstances, critical events and social practices in which masculinities become (re)defined during different stages of the life cycle. Our results highlight the dynamics between workplace and family contexts, calling attention to the impact of the male breadwinner model, which acts as a gendered social structure with implications for other factors (including age, social class, disability and marital status) that characterize the dynamics of life-cycle transitions and the key vulnerabilities that transcend occupational health. These findings lead us to consider the possibility that ill-health processes in males and females are intrinsically interwoven, such that the development of relationships reflects limitations and opportunities for both. Our analysis provides greater insights into explanations for gendered patterning in morbidity and mortality as well as how a gender order instigates social vulnerabilities and inequalities in health.