(Un)Healthy1 Men, Masculinities, and the Geographies of Health

Deborah Thien, Vincent J. Del Casino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Being men and being healthy seem to be contradictory sociospatial states. Although research on the interrelationships between gender and health is strongly represented in geography, and masculinity has been examined, geographical perspectives examining the contradictory spatialities of men's health are lacking. This article addresses this absence by working through a feminist and relational framework to examine how sociospatial forces linking gender, health, and emotion intertwine in the process of being (un)healthy men. We argue that any representation of men's health as situated within a singular narrative of hegemonic masculinity is refuted by tracing the multiple processes of how gender, health, and emotion intersect to define (un)healthy men's bodies and spaces. To flesh out the conceptual argument, we employ two illustrative case studies: (1) a set of narratives of living with HIV from gay and bisexual men in the United States and (2) a set of veterans' responses to a posttraumatic stress disorder program in Canada. These examples demonstrate men's fraught practices of their masculinities in relation to health and illustrate how variegated sociospatial practices of hegemonic masculinity affect men's health, men's affective relationships with support systems for health, and the contexts within which men's health takes place. This article offers a modest beginning to the inclusion of men in health geography and to an extended conceptual terrain for geographies of health encouraging the rethinking of linkages between health and gender and gender and emotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1156
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • PTSD
  • emotion
  • masculinity
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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