CALM has commissioned public and third sector research specialists Public Knowledge to carry out the Year of the Male’s Audit of Modern Masculinity.
The audit will explore areas of life where men feel pressure to live up to unrealistic ideals in a bid to understand more about the root causes of male suicide.
Jane Powell, CALM’s Director, explains the hypothesis behind the study: “There are no studies to evidence why being a man should be the single biggest risk factor for suicide and our hypothesis is that the cause must, in part, be cultural and social. Although men and women face similar pressures – to earn a living, live up to physical ideals or be good parents for example – they react to them very differently.
If, as a society, knew more about the specific expectations and pressures that men experience and started talking about the consequences of feeling unable to deal with them, we would be better able to tackle some of the causes of male suicide and other health and social inequalities that disproportionately affect men.”
Dr Judith Welford, Head of Public Knowledge, will lead the research, which is due to report in May, and be repeated annually to track change.
Dr Welford comments: “Although there’s been much talk of a ‘crisis of modern masculinity’, there’s been very little research to support this and we need to dig a little deeper into men’s responses to everyday pressures and demands on their lives. Our main challenge will be to get men to reveal their ‘inner lives’ in a way they’re comfortable with, but if we can start to understand the issues that matter to men we’re hopeful it could spark deeper research that explains more about why men are so much more likely to take their own life.”
To track the findings, follow @yearofthemale on Twitter.