Box 6. Example showing the influence of gender norms on men’s health seeking behaviours.

Masculinity and men’s health-seeking behaviours in Nigeria67

Aim: To investigates men’s health-seeking behaviours and to examine the extent to which gender/masculinity impede their acceptability of and accessibility to available health care facilities in Nigeria.

Method: Case study research design incorporating eight in-depth interviews conducted with men volunteers over seven weeks. The socio-demographic variables and inclusion criteria of the participant selection were age, academic status, religion, occupation, location of residence, marital status and financial status.

Results: Hegemonic masculinity built into the society’s classification of men as the stronger sex and women as the weaker sex is an influencer of men’s health care. Seven of the eight participants argued that men conform to the belief of masculinity identity in seeking health care. It was observed that there was no difference in perception of health-seeking behaviours among the respondents, despite their educational and the employability status. Men express some form of masculinity and sentiments that men should not be sick. The ‘masculinity factor’ is reflected in the rejection of medical help because of the feeling that being treated by women, labelled “the weaker sex”, is a taboo. The majority of the respondents reiterated the importance of their religious beliefs and doctrines as compared to seeking adequate health attention when the need arises. To them, as long as these beliefs are in place, their health status/stability is guaranteed.

Conclusion: Cultural and patriarchal norms/beliefs that often characterize men as being resilient and brave among other socially constructed expectations still play vital roles in determining the health-seeking behaviours of men, regardless of their educational and professional attainments.

Key resources for intersectional data analysis

Fehrenbacher AE, Patel DR. Translating the theory of intersectionality into quantitative and mixed methods for empirical gender transformative research on health. Culture, Health & Sexuality. 2019;22:145–160. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2019.1671494 (68).

Bauer G, Bowleg L, Rouhani S, Scheim A, Blot S. Harnessing the power of intersectionality: Guidelines for quantitative intersectional health inequities research. London, Canada; 2014 (, accessed 3 April 2022) (53).

Jasmine A. Abrams, Ariella Tabaac, Sarah Jung, Nicole M. Else-Quest. Considerations for employing intersectionality in qualitative health research. Social Science & Medicine. 2020; 258:113138. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113138 (69).

Selecting appropriate intersectional gender analysis frameworks helps guide development of data analysis plans. Developing an intersectional gender analysis matrix during proposal development is a facilitating factor in achieving IR outcomes.