Lege Artis Medicinae

[What worries Hungarian men? - Characteristics of masculine gender role stress]

SUSÁNSZKY Anna, SUSÁNSZKY Éva, KOPP Mária

JULY 27, 2009

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2009;19(06-07)

[INTRODUCTION - The aim of this study was to establish the characteristics of stress associated with male gender role and its relationship to health and to risk behaviours among Hungarian men. SUBJECTS AND METHODS - The present analysis is based on data of the Hungarostudy 2006 survey. Forty-one percent of the participants were men. Eighty nine percent of the male respondents completed the Eisler-Skidmore Masculine Gender Role Stress Scale; data of 1764 persons were analyzed. RESULTS - Anxiety about sexual performance, breadwinner role, and appearance (i.e. tradition factor) causes a much greater burden of stress than anxiety about changing gender relationships (i.e. modernization factor). With the increase of age, stress caused by traditional role expectations significantly decreases; tensions caused by women’s dominance and by situations which demand emotional response and empathy are the highest among middle aged men. Traditional gender role stress is more prevalent among pensioners than among economically active men; stress caused by the modernization of masculine gender role particularly afflicts unemployed men. Married men are to the least extent troubled by female dominance and difficulties in expressing emotions. Of the two dimensions analyzed here (tradition and modernization) only the values on the tradition factor were related to health status, psychological well-being, and frequency of smoking. CONCLUSIONS - Modernization of gender roles represents only a small - if any - stressor in the life of Hungarian men; on the other hand, unsuccessful adaptation to traditional role expectations highly increases the burden of stress and is closely related to smoking.]

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