Understanding masculinities

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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