A recent study by the Cleveland Clinic revealed some surprising and rather disconcerting numbers – over half of men (53%) don’t even want to discuss their health. It’s been somewhat anecdotally known for a while now that men delay, put off, and make excuses for seeing their doctor or treating an illness. But now, with the findings from this study recently published, the reasoning behind mens’ health care avoidance is becoming clearer.
Of course, men will discuss some health related topics. The study took a look at what they were willing to discuss, and found some consistent results.
If you think that’s bad, keep in mind that the study also found that men would rather talk about their job than their health. Considering most men spend quite enough time thinking and talking about their job already, it says a lot that that topic takes precedence.
Other trends include the facts that millennials seem to be more likely to openly discuss their health concerns than their Baby Boomer counterparts, and that men who do eventually confide in someone about their health problem usually do so to their spouse or significant other.
It’s clear from the study that men are legitimately concerned about health maladies such as heart attacks and cancer; yet, they typically only seek professional medical advice or treatment at the “urging” of someone else, usually a spouse as mentioned above. Researchers analyzing potential causes for mens’ health-related behavior have speculated on everything from a need to be perceived as “tough” to a biological fear of confronting mortality.
This is an area where men need to take a page from women, who tend to be just fine discussing their health with many different people. Women also tend to live longer than men on average — so what are you waiting for, men? Take a cue from the ladies and get talking about your health more often instead of burying your head in the sand about what your body is telling you.