chapter  9
10 Pages

Masculinity and Gender Role Confl ict: How They Infl uence the Likelihood That Men Will Engage in Multiple High-Risk Behaviors

Men are more likely than women to adopt behaviors and beliefs that undermine their health, so they are at greater risk for preventable death. This gender difference remains true across a variety of racial and ethnic groups, and among adolescents and young adults, as we have seen in the preceding chapters. The age group with the greatest gender disparity in mortality is young adults aged 15 to 24 years, and three of every four deaths annually in this age group are male (see Chapter 1). Young adults are at serious risk for disease, injury, and death that result from driving, drinking alcohol, and being sexually active. The leading cause of death for 15-to 24-year-olds is injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes. Wearing a safety belt reduces the risk for serious injury by up to 65% and reduces the risk for death by 45% (see Chapter 2). Men of all ages, and younger men in particular, are less likely than women to

wear safety belts, either as drivers or as passengers. Men also drive more dangerously, and this, combined with their failure to wear safety belts, contributes to the fact that, among 15-to 24-year-olds, three of four of those killed in motor vehicle crashes are men.