A book such as this would not have been written twenty years ago.An awareness
of men as gendered is fairly new in health and social welfare. It took some years
after the early development of social scientific interest in the social construction
of masculinity for academics and practitioners to show an interest in practical
engagement with men as gendered – that is, in engaging with men in such a way
as to recognise how their identities and conduct are shaped by the way they are
raised as men.
Among the now considerable literature addressing masculinity there
are few texts which take as the specific object of study the
relationship between masculinity and the law. This book explores
the diversity of the masculinities of law and bridges the critique of
masculinity and the critical study of law through analysing the
relation between masculinity, legal discourse and the family. It seeks
to unpack representations in law of male sexuality, authority,
paternity, fatherhood and male violence in the family.
Young men aged 15–24 die at rates far higher than their female counterparts, and
at rates higher than men of any other age group. Worldwide, the leading causes of
death for young men aged 15–24 are traffic accidents and homicide—both
directly related to how boys and men are socialized. In much of Latin America,
the Caribbean and parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the leading cause of early death
far and away is homicide.
It is remarkable to see the rapid increase in interest in the health of men since
the mid-1980s. We have moved from a position where there was almost
complete silence on the subject, an absence that was reflected not only in
policy and clinical practice but also within the academic community, to this
now being recognized as an area of major importance.