DOES MEN’S SOCIAL STATUS DAMAGE THEIR HEALTH?

Men die younger than women on average, but their life expectancy isn’t just caused by unhealthy behaviours, it’s also shaped by a range of factors that determine our position on the “social ladder”. These include:

  • Our experiences of childhood
  • Our level of education
  • Our experiences of fatherhood
  • Our working lives
  • Our daily living conditions
  • Our social connections
  • Our access to male-friendly services

Research shows that our physical and mental health is strongly influenced by our position on the “social ladder”. Put simply, the better your social status, the better your health.

One way to illustrate this is to divide the population into five equal groups, ranging from the richest area to the poorest area, based on indicators like income, employment and education.

When we look at the number of people in each of these groups who die from potentially avoidable causes, we find that men living in the poorest areas areas:

  • Around 70% more likely to die than women living in the same area
  • More than twice as likely to die as men living in the richest areas
  • More than three times as likely to die as women living in the richest areas

Some additional communities that can experience lower social status and poorer health include:

  • Men living in remote areas
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander males
  • Men and boys living with a disability
  • Males who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex

Taking action to improve the social status of men in all their diversity can help us improve men and boys’ health throughout life.

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