Black men's notion of masculinity leads to avoidance of health-related behaviors
African American men could be putting their health at risk by avoiding disease screening, in the belief that the results might threaten their masculinity. Because they prove their masculinity through their sexuality and sexual performance, seeking medical advice including HIV/AIDS testing goes against their notion of masculinity. Waverly Duck, a Post Doctoral Associate from the Department of Sociology at Yale University in the US, argues that current leading theories of gender and masculinity and health behavior models are not relevant enough to African American men and their distinctive notion of masculinity. His results (1) are published online in Springer's Journal of African American Studies.
Dr. Waverly Duck's work challenges conventional approaches to black masculinity and attempts to lay the foundation for a more nuanced way of looking at it. He argues that a new health behavior model for Black men should be developed - one that explores the link between their history and how it affects health promoting and health avoidance behaviors.
He concludes: "If men use avoiding going to the doctor to exhibit masculinity, then new strategies of health intervention should be promoted to this population. Voluntary health screening procedures for conditions such as prostate cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS tests should be available and conducted in hospital emergency rooms, settings where African American men frequently have contact with the medical profession." ###
1. Duck W (2009). Black male sexual politics: avoidance of HIV/AIDS testing as a masculine health practice. Journal of African American Studies DOI 10.1007/s12111-009-9097-2
Contact: Joan Robinson email@example.com 49-622-148-78130 Springer