Men

Victoria Baranov, Ralph De Haas, Pauline Grosjean, 02 April 2020

Men are consistently less healthy than women and three times more likely to commit suicide. This column argues that to understand these trends requires understanding ‘masculinity norms’ – the standards that guide and constrain men’s behaviour over time. It uses data from a unique natural experiment: the convict colonisation of Australia, when highly skewed sex ratios (men far outnumbered women) intensified competition and violence. When these behaviours become entrenched in local cultures, the column argues, they continue to manifest themselves long after the country’s gender ratios have stabilised. 

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