Enhancing Men's Health
At present in Australia, men are obviously much less healthy than women, in terms of both mortality and morbidity. Of course, gender comparisons are not all that useful, but they do demonstrate dramatically the nature of the men's health problem, and they do need consideration in the allocation of medical and other resources. Let me just make a few points about the current state of affairs: At birth, males have a life expectancy some 6 years less than females; a higher incidence and higher death rate from virtually all illnesses (except breast cancer and ailments of the female reproductive system); males account for 80 per cent of all suicides in Australia; they account for 95 per cent of the prison population; and males have some 95 per cent of workplace fatalities and permanent disabilities from workplace injuries.
At the same time, we must remember that some aspects of men's health are improving and that most aspects of this improvement are due to social and cultural change: men spend much less time in smoke-filled bars drinking excessive amounts of beer; work conditions occasion less physical risk; and nutrition is generally better. However, on the other hand, with the rise of economic rationalism and the associated managerialism, men are subject to immense increases in stress.
- Personal and social relationships
- Life-interests and commitment
- Physical activity and wellness
- Keeping in a good mood
- Coherence in life