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New study suggests that men’s help-seeking behavior makes them live shorter lives than women

Advances in medical technology and practice theory have led to a notable increase in the average life expectancy for individuals around the world, now at 76 for men and 81 for women in the United States. While the updated averages are promising, the five-year gap between men and women continues to bewilder. Some chock the difference up to a tendency for men to take on more risk throughout a lifetime, while others point to the male population having a greater likelihood of contracting a life threatening disease. It has been questioned, however, if there are other contributing factors in the longevity gap.

Diana Sanchez, associate professor of psychology and Mary Himmelstein, a doctoral student, both of Rutgers University, sought an answer to the question surrounding why men live shorter lives than women. In March of 2016, Rutgers University published research for both Preventive Medicine and The Journal of Health Psychology conducted by Sanchez and Himmelstein that unveiled a potential reason behind the pressing inquiry. The research revealed the following consistent data:

  • Men are less likely to go to the doctor compared to women
  • Men are more likely to select a male doctor when they do go
  • Men are less likely to fully disclose their medical symptoms with a male doctor

The Link Between Gender And Medical Honesty

Parameters of the Research

The study for Preventive Medicine surveyed 250 male participants in an online questionnaire aimed at gathering responses to questions about manhood, generally accepted attributes of men and women, and doctor preference. The results showed that the higher respondents scored on the masculinity scale, the more likely they were to have a preference for a male doctor over a female. Researchers also asked 250 undergraduate men to complete a questionnaire with a similar focus. Each respondent was then interviewed by male and female pre-med and nursing students about current medical conditions. The results tell a similar story: the higher the respondents scored on the masculinity scale, the less likely they were to share their medical symptoms openly with male interviewers.

Similar data was gathered from the student published in The Journal for Health Psychology, with survey responses and interviews elicited from undergraduate students as well as the public at large. Men who believed in more traditional gender norms associated with masculinity were less likely to seek the help of a medical professional, and less likely to share opening regarding symptoms. Not surprisingly, the women respondents who identified the need to be brave and self-reliant were also less likely to seek out medical treatment and more likely to withhold information relevant to current symptoms.

Consequences of Traditional Masculine Views

Sanchez and Himmelstein believe that a long-lived cultural script plays a significant role in why men downplay medical issues or illness. Instead of feeling comfortable speaking with medical professionals and potentially beginning a course of treatment, men are more likely to be less forthcoming and thus, less healthy. More so, both the men and women who followed a path more closely linked to traditional masculinity ideals noted suffering health outcomes not plaguing respondents without those views.

Representatives from a medical solicitors firm explain that the lack of communication from male patients to their healthcare providers presents another potential pitfall in receiving appropriate care. The chance of medical mistakes taking place during treatment of illnesses increases substantially when patients do not feel comfortable sharing the actual symptoms or issues they are experiencing. Miscommunication in these situations runs deep, affecting information passed from staff to staff, staff to patient, or patient to staff. As medical mistakes are left unrecognized or untreated, patients feel increasing discomfort in sharing new or changing symptoms for fear of sounding disrespectful or less than educated. Under these circumstances, the cycle of poor health – and ultimately a shorter life span – continues.

The studies conducted by Sanchez and Himmelstein point to a clear correlation between a reduced longevity in men and the overarching male psyche. Believing that, as a man, one should be able to tough out sickness or medical conditions that surface over time is detrimental to one’s health and ultimately the length and quality of life. Despite the average life expectancy steadily increasing over the years, traditional opinions surrounding masculinity and femininity play a role in maintaining the five-year longevity gap between men and women.

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is launching a course on Beyonce.

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University is offering a class called Politicizing Beyonce.

Kevin Allred, who is teaching the class, said he was using Beyonce’s career to explore American race, gender and politics.

The class includes analysis of Beyonce’s videos and lyrics as well as readings from black feminists.

The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University is offering a class called Politicizing Beyonce

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University is offering a class called Politicizing Beyonce

Kevin Allred also said he wanted to help students at the university in New Jersey think more critically about media consumption.

“This isn’t a course about Beyonce’s political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama’s inauguration weekend,” he said.

Rutgers also has a class about the theology of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics.

Georgetown University has a class called The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z, focusing on Beyonce’s rapper husband.

Earlier this month Beyonce and Jay-Z were named the most powerful people in music by Billboard magazine.

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Rutgers University in New Jersey has bowed to pressure to sack its head basketball coach Mike Rice over footage of him physically abusing players and screaming homophobic slurs.

The dismissal of basketball coach Mike Rice from Rutgers University was effective immediately, a college spokesman said.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and NBA star LeBron James were among those who condemned Mike Rice’s conduct.

Rutgers University has sacked head basketball coach Mike Rice over footage of him physically abusing players and screaming homophobic slurs

Rutgers University has sacked head basketball coach Mike Rice over footage of him physically abusing players and screaming homophobic slurs

Mike Rice apologized on Wednesday, saying there was no excuse for his actions captured on video.

He was recruited in 2010 to be head basketball coach at Rutgers, which finished last season near the bottom of their league, the prestigious Big East Conference.

“I’ve let so many people down: my players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans,” Mike Rice told ABC News in an interview outside his home on Wednesday.

“My family [are] sitting in their house just huddled around because of the fact that their father was an embarrassment to them.”

Featuring clips shot between 2010 and 2012, the video aired on sports network ESPN shows Mike Rice shouting obscenities, hurling balls at team members, as well as kicking and grabbing them.

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti reportedly viewed the footage late last year.

The university then suspended Mike Rice for three games, fined him $75,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes.

On Wednesday, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said in a statement on the university website: “Coach Rice’s abusive language and actions are deeply offensive and egregiously violate the university’s core values.”

Robert Barchi added that the video revealed a “chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior”, which led to his dismissal.

The decision to fire Mike Rice comes amid mounting pressure at both state and national level for the university to take action.

Governor Chris Christie said in a statement that he was “deeply disturbed” by the footage.

“This was a regrettable episode for the university, but I completely support the decision to remove Coach Rice,” he said.

New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said the coach’s conduct was “unbecoming of our state”.

Sheila Oliver called for an investigation into why Rutgers decided not to fire Mike Rice when it first became aware of the video.

One of the most famous basketball players in the US, the Miami Heat forward LeBron James, tweeted: “If my son played for Rutgers or a coach like that he would have some real explaining to do and I’m still gone whoop on him afterwards! C’mon.”

Athletic director Tim Pernetti apologized for not taking more robust action when the footage first came to his attention.

“I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice,” he said in a written statement.

Saying that Rutgers had considered firing him at the time, Tim Pernetti added: “I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong.”

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