Drew Payne’s Website

Understanding Men and Health

“Women get sicker but men die quicker,” might be a cliché but over the years it has driven so much of healthcare in Britain. Men’s health has often been a poor relation to women’s health, with men often dismissed as “uninterested” or too “masculine” to access health services. Certainly, statistically women are far more likely to access healthcare. But is this situation just down to a simple cliché.


In the last two decades there has been an increasing input into providing health services aimed at men, but this is still a small and new area. Against this background Steve Robertson’s book attempts to address the issues of men’s attitudes to health and why they do and don’t access health services. His book is based on his own research (narratives from a verity of lay men and healthcare professionals) and a very comprehensive literature review.


Though written in an easily accessible style this book is not an easy read. Robertson’s chapters are brimmed full of information and analysis, a lesser author could have written a whole book from the information Robertson squeezes into one chapter. Each chapter left the mind racing with thoughts and ideas, so insightful was Robertson’s analysis.


This book is far more theoretical then practical. If you are looking for tips and guidelines on setting up a men’s health service/clinic then this is not the book for you. If you are studying men’s health, are involved in policy creation or are looking at the ground work for a men’s health service then this book is a “must read”. Robertson’s insights into masculinity, accessing healthcare, men’s views of well-being, and men’s attitudes to physical and emotional health could help to shape an effective service.


Rating 4 out of 5


Steve Robertson, Open University Press, 178, ISBN-13: 9780335221561 (pb)