Table of Contents

Handbook on Gender and Health

Handbook on Gender and Health

International Handbooks on Gender series

Edited by Jasmine Gideon

This Handbook brings together a groundbreaking collection of chapters that uses a gender lens to explore health, healthcare and health policy in both the Global South and North. Empirical evidence is drawn from a variety of different settings and points to the many ways in which the gendered dimensions of health have become reworked across the globe.

Chapter 8: Men, ‘masculinity’ and mental health: critical reflections

Brendan Gough, Steve Robertson and Mark Robinson

Subjects: development studies, family and gender policy, social policy and sociology, family and gender policy, health policy and economics


This chapter opens with an introduction to the field of men’s health, highlighting traditional and contemporary research and theory, with particular reference to the central concept of ‘masculinities’. Drawing from the interdisciplinary arena of ‘critical studies of men and masculinity’, conventional notions of masculinity are deconstructed, and men’s health reviewed as a complex phenomenon requiring sophisticated thinking and investigations. This perspective is applied to the domain of mental health, and questions are posed about the relevance of psycho-medical discourse and the gendered assumptions promoted therein. the authors then consider how male mental health is understood, with particular reference to common mental health problems (notably depression). Research on mental health promotion with men is then reviewed, focusing on mainstream psychological services as well as community-based programmes and online resources. The authors conclude with some thoughts about future research directions and service provision for men suffering from distress.

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