Lecture to explore masculinity and wellbeing
The public lecture, entitled 'Understanding Men and Health: Musings on Contradictory Masculinities and Wellbeing', will be held at the Rose Bowl at 5.30pm and will consider how better understanding of the relationship between men, gender identity and health can provide insight into the factors that influence the promotion of men's health practices.
Speaking ahead of the lecture, Professor Steve Robertson explains: "In the UK, men's average life expectancy remains four years behind that of women. There are high rates of male suicide and an anxiety that mental distress often goes undetected in men until a crisis occurs. Men also have higher rates of premature death across a range of conditions. The reasons for gender differences in health experiences and health outcomes are undoubtedly complex with 'masculinity' frequently presented as the villain in the story.
"This lecture will critique some of the 'common-sense' assumptions that underpin much of the current rhetoric around men's health. In particular, I'll be raising questions about the homogeneity of men, the negative view of masculinity that prevails and the problems associated with current approaches to health promotion."
Professor Robertson is widely published and his main research interests are in the social theories of masculinity and their application to aspects of health and illness. His work covers a wide range of topics including: masculinities and health promotion; masculinities and disability; the sociology of (male) bodies; fathers and fatherhood; rural masculinities and health; men, masculinity and mental well-being; and men's engagement (or not) with health services. He completed twenty years clinical and community experience as a nurse and health visitor in the UK National Health Service, and commenced a career in research in 1999.
Steve has strong links with international colleagues and has worked and produced publications with fellow academics, policy makers and practitioners from Australia, the United States and Canada. He was a founding member of the European Men's Health Development Foundation, and he has also acted as a consultant on gender and men's health to the UK Department of Health and to WHO (Europe). He is Editor-in-Chief of theInternational Journal of Men's Health.