235019 Masculine gender scripts and aging: A focus group study

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Julie Gast, PhD, MCHES , Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Terry Peak, PhD , Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Jason Leiker, PhD , Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
It has long been noted that men are likely to avoid both health care and health prevention. Masculine gender scripts may be a factor that affects this differential response by men to health issues. Burns and Mahalik (2007) define masculine gender scripts as ways of acting, feeling, and thinking based on socially prescribed norms of masculinity. Few health education and health promotion programs take masculine gender scripts into consideration in program needs assessments or program planning. Therefore, this study examines the focus group results from the masculine gender script perspective, in addition to the other analytic lenses used. Of particular interest was how masculine gender scripts impact men's views on aging. Four focus groups were held with a volunteer sample of men for a total of 32 men, all Caucasian, whose ages ranged from 21-68 (Mean = 42.65). Results indicated that men 1) recognize that their relationship with their bodies change as they age, 2) that masculine gender scripts impact their view on aging, 3) men need to rethink what masculinity means when faced with the challenges of aging, and 4) when men think of aging, they do so in terms of physical activity. Implications for public health education and men's health research will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1) Participants will be able to define masculine gender scripts after the presentation 2) Participants will be able to name three ways how masculine gender scripts impact men's views on aging and health after the presentation. 3) Participants will be able to identify how masculine gender scripts can be used to create health promotion programs for men as they age after the presentation.

Keywords: Gender, Public Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted research that has been presented and published in peer reviewed outlets on men's health issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.