Men’s Health: A Critique of Men’s Rights and Anti-Feminist Claims

“Men’s rights advocates (MRAs) and anti-feminist men’s groups claim that men now are the victims in our society, of both women and feminism. MRAs claim that men’s health is a particularly important area of male disadvantage, that men’s health issues and shorter life spans are evidence of discrimination and oppression faced by men, and that women’s health receives unfair levels of attention and funding compared to men’s health. These claims are false. Instead;

  1. Men’s physical and emotional health is constrained above all by traditional constructions of masculinity (rather than by women or feminism).
  2. More widely, men’s health represents the ill-health effects of patriarchy. In contexts which are more patriarchal (male dominated) and less egalitarian, men live shorter lives, as shown in both cross-national and US research [1][2].
  3. The health of men is equal to that of women on a broad range of measures [3]. Simple comparisons between men’s and women’s health neglect the influence of social disadvantage.
  4. MRAs exaggerate the extent to which existing health services fail to meet men’s needs.
  5. While MRAs blame women and feminism for the poor state of men’s health, in fact, women’s and feminist organisations have been important advocates for men’s health [4][5].
  6. MRAs have done little to actually improve men’s health. And in fact, their strategies have been harmful to men’s health.”
Michael Flood and Jo River. 2017. “Men’s Health: A Critique of Men’s Rights and Anti-Feminist Claims.” XYOnline: Men, Masculinities, and Gender Politics, December 20. Retrieved May 22, 2018 ( [Abridged version. Please click the link for the full text.]

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