#Better4Men Survey

Men in Australia die 6 years younger than women on average. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men and boys' health?

We want to know what action you think Governments at all levels should be taking to tackle the issues than men and boys in Australia face. Tell us what you think in the box below.


    answered 2019-01-02 13:34:13 +1000
    Q: Some communities of men in Australia experience higher levels of disadvantage and discrimination. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men and boys' health?
    A: All men face discrimination simply for being male. However, some face disadvantage and discrimination due to other characteristics, such as their heritage or where they live (eg more men live in remote locations). Governments can improve the health of men and boys by investing more in the education and health of boys and men, at least to a level commensurate with the investment in girls and women. Evidence-based programs targeting concentrations of disadvantage will also be necessary (eg programs targeting the health of men in rural and remote locations). Governments should at least seek to do no harm by ending discrimination against males in the education, health and family and criminal justice systems.
    answered 2019-01-02 13:23:42 +1000
    Q: Governments at all levels have women’s strategies, but not men’s strategies. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of taking strategic action to improve the lives and health of men and boys?
    A: Start by valuing men and boys, which would of itself be radical. Acknowledge the many disadvantages faced by men and boys (many more than are now faced by women). Develop evidence-based strategies to address these areas of disadvantage. However, without a will to address male disadvantage there isn’t much point in doing anything and currently governments appear to lack the will. If anything they are increasingly hostile to men and boys and/or focused solely on privileging women and girls.
    answered 2019-01-02 13:18:51 +1000
    Q: I in 4 Australian men experience social isolation. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men's social connections.
    A: Men typically lose social connections due to work pressures as they are still expected to be the main breadwinners. Unlike women, men are not allowed to have men-only spaces which used to be a way for men to maintain their social connections. Men are also made to feel guilty if they do anything other than work. Governments probably can’t do much to address the problem, which is a product of society’s attitudes towards men and boys.
    answered 2019-01-02 13:12:21 +1000
    Q: Around 2 million men in Australia are experiencing some form on economic insecurity. How can Governments How can Governments do a better job of improving men's economic security?
    A: Improving educational outcomes for boys will give them greater career opportunities and economic security throughout their life. Improving health outcomes for men will enable them to be more productive throughout their lives.
    answered 2019-01-02 13:09:35 +1000
    Q: How can Governments in Australia do a better job of keeping men and boys safe from accidents, injuries and violence?
    A: Men disproportionately suffer from more accidents and injury because they are raised to take more risks and expected/obliged to perform the most dangerous/hazardous work, including at home (eg climbing up ladders or on to the roof, moving heavy objects, operating machinery, using hazardous chemicals, working in hazardous locations). Men disproportionately experience violence because inter-male competition and violence is socially acceptable and even encouraged (eg recruiting/conscripting men to fight in wars, protecting women and children, contact sport, etc). Violent men have often experienced violence themselves or have not been adequately socialised (eg through fatherlessness or a lack of positive male role models). Governments can keep men safe at work by supporting strong work health and safety laws and help raise less violent young men by valuing and supporting fatherhood. However, women can probably have a much larger influence than governments simply by looking at their own attitudes, which contribute to a society in which men and boys are less valued than women and girls and treated as expendable.
    answered 2019-01-02 12:52:02 +1000
    Q: How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men's working lives? This includes making work healthier and safe, but also includes helping men without employment to find work.
    A: Stop discriminating against men through ‘gender equality’ programs that institutionalise discrimination against men. Support men made unemployed/redundant to re-skill and find employment in other areas.
    answered 2019-01-02 12:47:36 +1000
    Q: Suicide kills 8 people a day in Australia and 6 of them are men. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of preventing male suicide?
    A: Suicide is a response to unbearable psychological pain. Conflating it with mental illness is unhelpful because most men who commit suicide have no history of mental illness. Blaming men for not communicating like women is also unhelpful. Men who suicide often do attempt to reach out, but they are looking for SOLUTIONS to their problems and not a shoulder to cry on. When they get no practical help (or even sympathy) they stop communicating and seek their own solutions, one of which can be suicide. Focusing on people with an apparent history of attempting suicide is also problematic because it can be difficult distinguishing a genuine suicide attempt from self-harm and most men who suicide do so on the first attempt. Most suicide prevention campaigns often focus on young people and/or women so they fail to engage the most at-risk group (middle-aged men) – is it any wonder they minimal impact on the growing rate of male suicide? Governments can help to reduce male suicide by (i) not contributing to it through an unfair family law system (ie first do no harm), (ii) targeting groups most at risk (FFS!), (iii) providing programs to support men through life events known to increase the risk of suicide (eg unemployment, relationship breakdown, financial difficulty, major health issues, substance abuse, support for male victims of abuse, etc), (iv) applying an evidence-based approach rather than a lazy, ineffectual focus on ‘awareness-raising’, and (v) listening to, and learning from, ‘survivors’ like me who have genuinely attempted suicide (be wary of anyone claiming to have made several suicide attempts because they’re either incompetent or quite possibly had no intention of dying).
    answered 2019-01-02 12:07:36 +1000
    Q: Men are known to face many different barriers that can prevent them from being involved in their children's lives. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of supporting involved and active fatherhood.
    A: Many children are now growing up without fathers due to the deliberate choice of women who chose to be single mothers and as a result of relationship breakdown. After a relationship breakdown women often use the court system and/or false allegations of abuse to prevent fathers from seeing their children. This is one of the factors contributing to the high levels of male suicide. Government could start by acknowledging the value of fathers in the lives of their children and the mounting evidence about the cost of fatherlessness to children and society. Making the family court system fair would also be beneficial for all parties, but especially children. Equal parental leave would help, although many men would be reluctant to be the primary carer – which is entirely reasonable when men have virtually no reproductive rights. Unfortunately governments and society more broadly don’t value fathers. However, like it or not, society bears the cost of fatherlessness.
    followed #Better4Men Survey 2019-01-02 09:58:51 +1000
    answered 2019-01-02 09:58:37 +1000
    Q: Around 2 million men in Australia are experiencing some form on economic insecurity. How can Governments How can Governments do a better job of improving men's economic security?
    A: paid maternity leave
    paid injury cover for as long as needs
    flexibility and security within work
    answered 2019-01-02 09:57:05 +1000
    Q: How can Governments in Australia do a better job of keeping men and boys safe from accidents, injuries and violence?
    A: acknowledge that mena are more prone to have "acidents / increased risk takers, more severe means to life ending acidents.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:55:57 +1000
    Q: How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men's working lives? This includes making work healthier and safe, but also includes helping men without employment to find work.
    A: more flexibility in mens work places
    answered 2019-01-02 09:55:13 +1000
    Q: Suicide kills 8 people a day in Australia and 6 of them are men. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of preventing male suicide?
    A: more male only focused services
    more services for men in genberal
    answered 2019-01-02 09:54:26 +1000
    Q: Men are known to face many different barriers that can prevent them from being involved in their children's lives. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of supporting involved and active fatherhood.
    A: equal leave such as maternity leave sometimes it is more vialble to have the dad off.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:53:37 +1000
    Q: Boys are trailing girls at every stage of education. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving boys' educational outcomes?
    A: campaign to have differential learning styles for boys and girls and generalised between individuals
    answered 2019-01-02 09:51:20 +1000
    Q: Men in Australia die 6 years younger than women on average. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men and boys' health?
    A: 1) More focus in male suicide by single vehicles into trees as an MVA
    2) More focus and seriousness around men and the sustained violence against them by women and the dismissive culture that this has around it hence suicide.
    3) Equal leave entitlements (maternity leave) etc for males, some times it is more financially viable to have the dad stay at home.
    4) Generalist publication re boys and you are not gay if you are a nurse / helping profession.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:40:14 +1000
    Q: Boys are trailing girls at every stage of education. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving boys' educational outcomes?
    A: (1) Employ equal numbers of male and female teachers. Male teachers are important as role models and are often better at disciplining boys. Female teachers on average favor girls (give them higher marks for the same work) and are quick to pathologise normal, healthy boyish behavior which can lead to boys developing negative attitudes towards education (I was one of those boys until a male teacher took me under his wing). (2) Cater for boys who aren’t academically inclined or linguistically gifted but are often gifted in other areas, such as manual arts. (3) Stop treating maleness as pathological and demonising boys. All of the relentlessly negative messages aimed at men and boys can’t help but have an impact on boys. (4) Provide equal encouragement and support for boys and girls.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:24:35 +1000
    Q: Some communities of men in Australia experience higher levels of disadvantage and discrimination. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men and boys' health?
    A: -
    answered 2019-01-02 09:24:16 +1000
    Q: Governments at all levels have women’s strategies, but not men’s strategies. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of taking strategic action to improve the lives and health of men and boys?
    A: It’s one thing to have a National Men’s Health Strategy — it’s another thing to actually fund it and implement it and ensure that all relevant sectors play an active role. There needs to be more accountability and reporting than there has been previously.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:22:29 +1000
    Q: I in 4 Australian men experience social isolation. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men's social connections.
    A: Unable to comment on this.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:22:17 +1000
    Q: Around 2 million men in Australia are experiencing some form on economic insecurity. How can Governments How can Governments do a better job of improving men's economic security?
    A: Sorry, unable to comment on this.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:21:57 +1000
    Q: How can Governments in Australia do a better job of keeping men and boys safe from accidents, injuries and violence?
    A: Risk-taking seems to be an inherent aspect of traditional concepts of masculinity, so it will be challenging to try to change these.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:21:02 +1000
    Q: How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men's working lives? This includes making work healthier and safe, but also includes helping men without employment to find work.
    A: I am been astounded by the lack of regulation of working hours in the construction industry. Fatigue is a real issue in this industry, which seems to be client-driven and profit-driven, with workers considered a disposable commodity. Construction industry continues to be plagued with other unhealthy and unsafe practices.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:18:51 +1000
    Q: Suicide kills 8 people a day in Australia and 6 of them are men. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of preventing male suicide?
    A: I have seen, through my sons’ friends, how limited many boys and young men are in developing coping strategies for set-backs and ‘failures’ in life. With so many boys growing up without fathers or other positive male role models and in dysfunctional families, there is a clear need for boys to have some sorts of mentors or other opportunities to develop ways to cope when life doesn’t go your way.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:16:14 +1000
    Q: Men are known to face many different barriers that can prevent them from being involved in their children's lives. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of supporting involved and active fatherhood.
    A: Sorry, can’t comment on this.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:16:00 +1000
    Q: Boys are trailing girls at every stage of education. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving boys' educational outcomes?
    A: Sorry, can’t comment on this.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:15:29 +1000
    Q: Men in Australia die 6 years younger than women on average. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men and boys' health?
    A: Much more needs to be done to engage specific groups of men who are currently unengaged in their health and for whom health information and programs are missing the mark. This includes middle-aged blue-collar workers who subscribe to traditional concepts of masculinity. Factors include low health literacy + a ‘know it all’ attitude, lack of accurate information about preventive health and early detection, a fatalistic attitude towards health, and a distrust and dislike of the health care system, combined with a perception that being concerned about your health is a feminised behaviour. These men need health messages from people they respect, which generally means ‘men like me’. As others have said, men need to give themselves permission to be concerned about their health, in the context of ‘what it means to be a man’.
    I’d like to see some good qualitative research involving discussions with men who refuse to go to the doctor, refuse to have preventive checks, do not understand (or care) that their lifestyle choices impact their health, who refuse to take responsibility because they prefer to believe that ‘when your number’s up, it’s up’, and do not see how selfish these behaviours are.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:12:01 +1000
    Q: Men in Australia die 6 years younger than women on average. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men and boys' health?
    A: Firstly, acknowledge the disadvantages men and boys face in health outcomes. Secondly, stop automatically looking to blame men and boys for their disadvantage. Thirdly, invest in men’s health at a level at least commensurate with women’s health. Fourth, only support evidence-based approaches, not ineffective ‘awareness-raising’. Fifth, work to end the climate of antipathy and outright hostility towards men exhibited by many health service providers – especially in relation to fathers.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:09:17 +1000
    Q: Some communities of men in Australia experience higher levels of disadvantage and discrimination. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of improving men and boys' health?
    A: Please tell me more. I’m not aware of these communities.
    answered 2019-01-02 09:08:43 +1000
    Q: Governments at all levels have women’s strategies, but not men’s strategies. How can Governments in Australia do a better job of taking strategic action to improve the lives and health of men and boys?
    A: Actually, I think we need to keep improving the lives of women, and work on educating men about healthy relationships and how male privilege hurts them too. See my answers to previous questions for ideas around this.
    Making services available after hours (without reducing penalty rates) will serve men better. I really don’t think we need too many more male-specific services, just male-friendly services.