chapter  7
19 Pages

Preventive Health Strategies for Men in Prison

ByWill H. Courtenay, Don Sabo

This chapter explores the health risks of men in prison and identifi es preventive strategies that prisoners can use to improve their health. As discussed in preceding chapters, there is compelling evidence that the practice of preventive health behaviors favorably infl uences health and longevity in the larger population. Little is known, however, about its effects among men in prison. Furthermore, as is well established in this book, preventive health behavior is a gendered practice. Women are more likely than men to adopt health-promoting beliefs, behaviors, and lifestyles. Although the underlying assumption in much of the medical literature is that what it means to be a man has no bearing on men’s health, emerging theories and research are examining and identifying health risks associated with masculinity and the daily practice of being a man. The gendered aspects of health among prisoners have only begun to be investigated (Polych & Sabo, 1995; Sabo & London, 1992).