Health messages should be tailored to reach men, as well

Much has been made about how to communicate with women, especially those who are considered healthcare decision makers, but an April 8 story in The...

Much has been made about how to communicate with women, especially those who are considered healthcare decision makers, but an April 8 story in The Boston Globe took at a look at the way men communicate health news.

The story says: "Men are raised with inhibitions or 'rules of manhood' that may keep them out of the healthcare system, Zoske explains. He says that most health messages are expressed in a 'feminine form.' The basic public health theme, he says, is, 'Notice your body, pay attention when something isn't working well, and seek help when needed.' But, Zoske says, this statement doesn't really speak to guys. He points out that men may be deaf to their body's symptoms because they are brought up to ignore factors such as vulnerability and pain."

Other key points include engaging men in a dialogue by letting them know that other men have similar symptons or ailments; communicating health messages by framing them in terms of safety, strength, and performance; and using numbers, statistics, and metaphors because men respond to those communications tools.

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