Loneliness, health problems and marginalisation
Marginalisation starts early in life. More boys than girls drop out of school (18). The personalisation and individualisation of learning processes may be a causal factor (19). Learning methods that require pupils to be socially competent, reflective and adaptable have now largely replaced vocational subjects. Norway differs from other OECD countries in that subjective health problems following a lack of success in school and employment more often lead to a life on welfare benefits and exclusion (20). Boys from families with a low level of education are particularly at risk of being left on the sidelines (21).
We want to highlight the fact that men's health also suffers as a result of gender disparities
Men are also more likely than women to be single for much of their life, which can affect high-risk behaviour and impact on how they deal with health problems. Having children and being married are associated with better health, and the impact of the family on health is far greater for men than for women (22). Unmarried men do not live as long as married men (23).
Being part of an intact family with healthy, non-violent parents has a preventive effect on suicide at a young age (24). It is well documented that children of divorced parents generally fare better emotionally and socially when they are allowed to maintain contact with their father (25, 26). Despite this knowledge, fathers often feel ignored and undermined when dealing with the child welfare authorities, the family protection service and other actors in the welfare state and legal system (16). Many feel they are stigmatised as violent or as less capable of providing care than women, which impacts on their mental health and well-being.
We do not deny that women are impacted by gender inequalities in health, but we want to highlight the fact that men's health also suffers as a result of gender disparities. We particularly caution against gender-based stereotyping that contributes to the marginalisation of boys and men. When combined with socio-economic factors, such stereotyping can have an especially detrimental effect on the health of boys and men from marginalised sections of the population. We can no longer turn a blind eye to this.