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A social constructionist study of masculinity and its effects on health seeking behaviours among men who are at risk of cardiovascular disease.

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In a world that has gender constructions, the masculine and the feminine, these gender constructions are used to highlight differences, and from this emerges differences in power that has an important effect on the phenomenon of health (Hollway, 1984). Males, as opposed to females, have lower life expectancies, which has been associated with a higher level of risk behaviours as well as a lower level of health seeking behaviours ( Connell, 1995; Will H Courtenay, 2000; J kahn, 2009). The prevalence of cardiovascular disease is something of concern, as approached by Seedat (2000), which showed the indiscriminate nature of cardiovascular disease amongst males regardless of race. The way in which masculinity is constructed has been seen to emanate from multiple constructions including work roles, and thus the changing work climate is something that, in conjunction with cardiovascular disease, needs to be explored in order to see how, and if, there has been indeed a negative effect (Connell, 1995). The combination of masculinity and cardiovascular diseases is something that needs to be explored in relation to construction. The results of this effect can then be subsequently used to design interventions to either slow down the degradation or seek to create an equilibrium in order to minimise harm.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.