College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date

3-2015

Document Type

Thesis

College/Department Conferring Degree

Public Service Management

Keywords

masculinity, self-rated health, gender norms, world values survey, CMNI

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect that fulfillment of traditional masculine gender norms has on men’s health (self-rated health) across different regions of the world. Regions include Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and English speaking countries (United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain).The masculine constructs used are derived from Mahalik’s (2005) Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory and include risk-taking, dominance, disdain for homosexuality, power over women, pursuit of status, and self-reliance. These concepts were then applied to questions asked in the World Values Survey (n=32,183) and a scale for adherence to each norm was calculated for every individual. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted for each region to explore if higher adherence to each constructs resulted in a higher self-rated health score. Results show that adherence to constructs are associated with better health in some regions and worse health in others. Furthermore, not every construct was statistically significant in each region or to the same degree. While previous research suggests that fulfilling norms such as risk-taking and dominance will always decrease men’s health, this study found that in some cases, health increased. This suggests a much more nuanced picture of gender norms and health that is influenced greatly by geography.

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