chapter  5
17 Pages

Rural Men’s Health

Rural men have greater health risks than both rural women and nonrural men. In this chapter, I use a social constructionist framework to examine the previously unexplored territory of rural men’s health and to achieve two primary aims. First, I review available research regarding the health behaviors and risks of rural men and women and of various specifi c populations of men. Examining gender differences in social activities and experiences-as well as differences among men (Courtenay, 2000a)—can be a valuable social constructionist strategy. It illuminates the process by which biological sex is transformed into gender and demonstrates how power is negotiated and structured through everyday social actions (Crawford, 1995). Second, I discuss rural men’s health beliefs and behavior as a form of gendered practice. I provide a conceptual and theoretical framework that shows how the social practices that undermine rural men’s health are often signifi ers of masculinity and the instruments men use in negotiating social powernot only in relation to women but also within hierarchies of men.