Masculinity Can Hurt Men's Health20:53

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Wherever you look these days, whether it's on television, in movies, or on the radio, it seems men are being bombarded with the message to be more manly.

It all makes for good entertainment, but the impact on men's health has not always been positive. Increasingly, researchers say the popular culture's emphasis on masculinity is leading men to drink more than women, smoke more than women and avoid regular visits to the doctor.

As a result, men are not only living shorter lives, on average, than women, they also die at higher rates from 14 out the 15 leading causes of death in America.

Last week on Beacon Hill, lawmakers took a look at the problem through a very specific lens, exploring the degree to which the very notion of masculinity itself may be to blame for poor health among men. After all, men are groomed from youth to believe they need to be stoic and tough, but is that outlook coming at the cost of their physical and mental well-being?


  • Michael Addis, professor of psychology, Clark University; author of the forthcoming book "Invisible Men: Men's Inner Lives and the Consequences of Silences"
  • James Mahalik, professor of psychology, Boston College

This program aired on April 6, 2011.