chapter  4
28 Pages

Constructions of Masculinity and Their Infl uence on Men’s Well-Being

As I explained in the previous chapters, a variety of factors infl uence and are associated with health and longevity, including economic status, ethnicity, and access to care. However, these factors cannot explain gender differences in health and longevity. For example, as I discussed in the preceding chapters, although lack of adequate health care, poor nutrition, and substandard housing all contribute to the health problems of African Americans, they cannot account for cancer death rates that are nearly 2 times higher among African American men than among African American women (Jemal et al., 2008). However, as I demonstrated in Chapter 2, health-related behaviors do help to explain gender differences in health and longevity; and although many biogenetic and sociocultural factors are associated with and infl uence health-related behavior, gender is the most important of these factors.