Dying to be Men: Psychosocial, Environmental, and Biobehavioral Directions in Promoting the Health of Men and Boys

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Masculinity has a powerful effect on the health of men and boys. Indeed, many of the behaviors they use to "be men" actually increase their risk of disease, injury, and death. In this book, Dr. Will Courtenay, an internationally recognized expert on men’s health, provides a foundation for understanding this troubling reality. With a comprehensive review of data and literature, he identifies specific gender differences in the health-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of men and boys and the health consequences of these differences. He then describes the powerful social, environmental, institutional, and cultural influences that encourage their unhealthy behaviors and constrain their adoption of healthier ones. In the book’s third section, he more closely examines the health needs of specific populations of men, such as ethnic-minority men, rural men, men in college, and men in prisons. Courtenay also provides four empirical studies conducted with multidisciplinary colleagues that examine the associations between masculinity and men and boys’ health beliefs and practices. Finally, he provides specific strategies and an evidence-based practice guideline for working with men in a variety of settings, as well as a look to the future of men’s health.

Medical professionals, social workers, public health professionals, school psychologists, college health professionals, mental health practitioners, academics, and researchers from a broad array of disciplines, and anyone interested in this topic will find it to be an extensively researched and accessible volume.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"At last, a collection of Will Courtenay’s important research and writing on men’s health, revised and brought up to date! It could not be more timely, given the urgent need for improved health care outcomes in the US. I will strongly recommend it to my students and colleagues." - Ronald F. Levant, EdD, ABPP, 2005 President, the American Psychological Association; Professor of Psychology, the University of Akron

"This book provides a truly impressive collection of updated information and predominantly quantitative research on sex differences in health and health patterns of diverse populations of men. It serves as a useful and comprehensive source of data and commentary on these dimensions of health related to gender and masculinity." - Toni Schofield, PhD, Associate Professor, Discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney

"Will Courtenay has created an exhaustive and well organized review of two decades of scholarship on men’s health. Dying to be Men is the most important resource available for anyone interested in this issue, which is literally a matter of life and death." - Christopher Kilmartin, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Mary Washington

"It would be a truism to say that ‘Will Courtenay wrote the book on men's health’since, well, this is it! By examining different groups of men - by age, class, region, race — Courtenay deepens our understanding of that crucial linkage between gender and health." - Michael Kimmel, PhD, Professor of Sociology, SUNY at Stony Brook

"Dr. Courtenay presents thought provoking analysis and comprehensive understanding of the current dire circumstances for men and the resulting negative impact on health and society. He shares a clear vision of how to move beyond our current norms for manhood to transform social, cultural, and environmental factors to improve wellbeing for all." - Larry Cohen, MSW, Founder and Executive Director, Prevention Institute

"Dr. Courtenay both takes stock of existing research and looks to the future by opening up fresh issues and proposing a new interdisciplinary global and relational approach fit for the twenty-first century. The result is a timely, accessible book that will be an invaluable resource for social scientists and health practitioners alike." - Ellen Annandale, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Leicester

"This is absolutely the best book on men's health available today. The depth and breadth of Courtenay's research make this an essential resource for anyone interested in promoting the health and well-being of men and boys. This is a unique contribution to the field that should be read by those in academia, clinical practice, and any man who wants the facts on how to live long and well." - Jed Diamond, PhD, LCSW, founder and Director of MenAlive

"Dr. Will Courtenay’s book is truly the first of its kind. For all its academic excellence, this lucid, easy to digest book is an alluring and popular read for anyone concerned about men and boys. Beautifully written, it offers practical "cues" with clear, concise, and useful advice." - William S. Pollack, PhD, ABPP, Associate Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School; Founder and Director, Centers for Men & Boys

"Dying to Be Men is the most comprehensive resource on men's health that I have encountered. Will Courtenay understands that men need more than information about their health — they need permission to care about it. This is a powerful tool that educators, therapists, policy-makers and anyone else who cares about men can use to challenge the outdated and deeply destructive idea that 'real men' don't take care of themselves." Jackson Katz, PhD, creator of the award-winning film Tough Guise and author of The Macho Paradox

"Discussing all ages of men, Dying to Be Men is a truly fascinating, scholarly, and highly recommended read that should be in any psychology and health studies collection, aimed at those who want to understand man in today's society." - The Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Part I: Why Men and Boys Get Sick and Die Young. Key Determinants of the Health and Well-being of Men and Boys: An Overview. Behavioral Factors Associated with Disease, Injury, and Death Among Men and Boys. Part II: Why Men and Boys Do the Things that Make Them Sick and Kill Them. Introduction: Who are the Men in "Men's Health"? Engendering Health: The Social Construction of Gendered Health Beliefs and Behaviors. Constructions of Masculinity and Their Influence on Men's Well-being: A Theory of Gender and Health. Part III: Specific Populations. Introduction: Ethnicity Matters. Rural Men's Health: Situating Men's Risk in the Negation of Masculinity. College Men's Health. Preventive Health Strategies for Men in Prison. Part IV: Emerging Research on Men, Masculinity, and Health. Introduction: Youth Violence? Let's Call it What It Is. Gender and Ethnic Differences in Health Beliefs and Behaviors. Masculinity and Gender Role Conflict: Influence on Men's Likelihood of Engaging in High-risk Behaviors. Measurement of Men's Help Seeking. The Drive for Muscularity and Masculinity. Part V: Reaching Men. Introduction: Making Health Manly: Social Marketing and Men's Health. Counseling Men about Their Health: An Evidence-based Practice Guideline. Designing Effective Programs and Services for College Men: Applying the Six-point HEALTH Plan and Other Evidence-Based Strategies. Part VI: Looking Forward. Introduction: Teaming Up for the New Men's Health Movement. A Global Perspective on the Field of Men's Health.

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