Roles Men Play
The topics of gender bias, woman and child health as well as nutrition has for long been on the agenda of global organizations and the governments of all countries. As a result, substantial amount of research work and developmental work has taken place in providing and improving access to primary health care for the mother and child in all countries especially in the third world countries. Women’s health issues too have been receiving considerable importance and attention for a number of years. The awareness about personal health, hygiene, family planning, self help, safe sex as well as mental health has increased amongst women.
The success of women based health programs and awareness programs can be largely attributed to the way women are made and think. Women by nature seem to be open to approaching self help groups as well as seek out professional help in the matters of health of not only herself but of her children and the family too. The fact that women network very well ensures that the awareness is created and sustained amongst women across all social groups.
This brings us to the question about men and their health. Men too need the same kind of education and awareness as well as focus on their health issues too. While physical health is quite important too, in the case of men, the issues of their mental and emotional health coupled with their pre disposition to drinking, smoking and sexual behavior predisposes them to mental health problems and resultant behavioral problems and consequences.
Studies have shown that the number of male suicidal death is increasing as compared to women and the trend is evident especially in the western and developed countries like Canada, US, Europe and Australia. Analysis of data shows an increase of depression and schizophrenia amongst the young adults and middle aged men. Increase of substance abuse as well as the new sexual orientation too is believed to be the cause of many suicidal deaths.
When one talks about men’s health, it is important to first take note of the barrier that prevents men from seeking and accessing professional medical help. The professional facilities are available to one and all. But then, it is noticed that men are not likely to come forward to seek professional help until and unless they are brought in by their family or friends.
The important reason for this male behavior is the stereo type gender role demands that are placed by the society on men. Every society expects men to be strong both physically and mentally. Crying, seeking help or talking about one’s feelings as well as not being in control of one’s emotions is seen as ‘womanly’ of ‘girly’ behavior. Most men get caught between their inner turmoil and their need to be seen as a strong person externally and as a result tend to suffer from within.
Men and women have the same emotional quotient. However in the case of women the feelings are dominant and more easily expressed while in the case of men, the feelings are concealed and reason and logic are in the fore front. The fact remains that the emotions still rule both women and men.