Journal article
1 August 2021

Gender norms and the mental health of boys and young men

Author: Simon Rice, John Oliffe, Zac Seidler, Rohan Borschmann, Jane Pirkis, Nicola Reavley
Published by: The Lancet
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First page of article

Over the last half-century, the women's health movement has been a powerful driver in health policy linking gender norms to sex differences in health and wellbeing. Even though gender norms also affect males, there has been little emphasis on gender in health policies for males, especially in relation to the mental health of boys and young men. Gender norms around masculinity commonly confer power and status to boys and young men, which might in part explain why norms around masculinity are difficult to shift. Paradoxically, these dominant masculinities carry risks for poor mental health. Globally, the rate of male suicide is two to four times that of females, and males fare poorly on indices of substance misuse, risk taking-related injury, conduct problems, violence, aggression, and by extension incarceration.