Masculinities and health practices in the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte - MG

Adriano Roberto Afonso do Nascimento Zeidi Araújo Trindade Ingrid Faria Gianordoli-Nascimento Fernanda Bicalho Pereira Sara Angélica Teixeira da Cruz Silva Alessandra Craig Cerello About the authors

The purpose of this research was to identify and analyze the social representations of health and illness and the health practices of men living in the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais (Southeastern Brazil). One hundred subjects aged between 45 and 55 were interviewed. The data were submitted to recall and content analysis. RESULTS: Central elements of the Social Representation (SR) of health: "welfare", "care" and "important." Close peripheral elements: "joy / happiness" and "food". Central elements of the SR of disease: "sadness" and "pain". Close peripheral elements: "suffering" and "death." Definition of "taking care of one's health": "taking care of what I eat" (17.25% of responses) and "performing physical activities" (11.11%). In addition, 52% of the subjects said they take care of their own health and 34% said they do so "sometimes". Those who contribute for taking care of one's own health: "myself" (29.63%), "wife" (25.93%). Search for medical care: "sometimes" at the hospital (69% of the subjects; main reason: "severe / persistent pain ", 13.87% of responses) or in clinics (72% of the subjects; main reason: "routine tests", 22.22% of responses). The results reveal a more general perception of health care as an individual set of practices aimed at "welfare". The results also point to a substantial number of actions towards health care, which contradicts some of the traditional perceptions about the weak association between masculinities and self care.

Masculinities; Health Practices; Social Representations

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