Masculinity and men’s participation in colorectal cancer screening

Candice Oster, Clare McGuiness, Amy Duncan, Deborah Turnbull

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common cancer and an ideal target for early detection and prevention through screening. The Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program currently provides free testing to Australians at 5-year age intervals between the ages of 50 and 65. Despite the effectiveness of screening, participation in the program is suboptimal, with men participating at a significantly lower rate than women. Men's reluctance to use health services and seek help for health problems is a common concern across Western cultures, often attributed to "traditional" masculine traits such as stoicism, strength, and independence. In this qualitative study we interviewed 35 older men (50 to 74 years) who had been invited to screen for CRC through participation in a randomized controlled trial, and explored the extent to which the men's discussions of screening for CRC were consistent with theories of masculinity. Using theoretical thematic analysis we identified that men drew on discourses of responsibility, risk, rationality, and control in discussing their views of screening for CRC, demonstrating an interconnection between discourses of hegemonic masculinity and dominant discourses of neoliberalism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)254-263
    Number of pages10
    JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


    • Colorectal cancer
    • Masculinity
    • Neoliberalism
    • Screening


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