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Hastings International and Comparative Law Review

Abstract

This paper draws upon a sociocultural framework from masculinity studies and applies it to the case of men's health with the goal of providing the legal field with critical considerations that might shape a stronger future research agenda in the area of masculinity, rights, and health.

It is well recognized that gender inequality affects women, and that men enjoy numerous cultural and institutional privileges that negatively shape women's health outcome. These commonly understood drivers of women's poor health have led to crucial and much needed linkages between women's rights and health. However, men do not exclusively enjoy cultural and institutional privileges relative to women, and cause harm to women's health. Men are also deeply and negatively affected by gender relations and gender inequality, resulting in harm to their health and access to healthcare. Furthermore, men are not homogenous as a group; there are vast differences and inequalities among men in terms of their health and healthcare access. This means that men do not equally share in the rewards of masculinity; it is marginalized men who in fact disproportionately pay the costs of adhering to narrow definitions of masculinity. Following in-depth coverage of each of these debates, the paper concludes with several questions to inspire further interdisciplinary inquiries related to masculinity, health, and rights.

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