Episode 7

Published on:

23rd Nov 2021

Peter Baker - Improving Men's Health and Wellbeing

How and why has men’s health been so badly impacted by Covid-19? What do masculinities and feminism have to do with men’s health? What are some of the key issues affecting the wellbeing of men and boys in the UK today, and what can we do about it? Find out more in the latest episode of Now and Men, with international men’s health expert Peter Baker. 

Peter is the Director of the Global Action on Men’s Health network, and for 12 years was the Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum in the UK. Until 2020 he was also the Campaign Director for HPV Action, and in 2018 received the Royal Society for Public Health’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Championing the Public’s Health because of his efforts in getting boys vaccinated against HPV (human papillomavirus).

Topics covered in this episode include…

  • Why Covid-19 demonstrates the need to engage much more with men and boys about their physical and mental health (for example, regarding vaccinations).
  • Why the male suicide rate does not appear to have increased so far during the pandemic.
  • How Peter got involved in working on men’s health, and the impact of his own experiences of growing up as a boy.
  • Peter’s involvement in anti-sexist activism such as the magazine Achilles Heel, and why feminism has made a vital contribution to men’s health.
  • The effects of pornography on men and boys, and Peter’s involvement in anti-pornography campaigning.
  • The impacts of masculine gender norms and expectations on men’s and boys’ health.
  • The increasing struggles some men and boys are facing around body image.
  • Peter’s campaigning for boys to get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • What works, what some of the tensions are, and what policies are needed to improve the health of men and boys. 

You can find out more about Peter and his work at his website, https://pbmenshealth.co.uk. You can also follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pbmenshealth, and on LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/pbmenshealth/.

Other organisations and resources mentioned in the episode…

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About the Podcast

Now and Men
Current conversations about men's lives
What's it like to be a man in the 21st century? How are feminist issues relevant to men and boys? These questions are being discussed more than ever.

Our monthly podcast delves into these issues with experts such as practitioners, activists and academics. In each episode, you’ll hear in-depth conversations about masculinity, gender equality, and the lives of men and boys, with topics ranging from preventing violence against women, to promoting active fatherhood, to supporting men's health.

The podcast is created and hosted by Dr Stephen Burrell, Sandy Ruxton and Professor Nicole Westmarland, who are researchers from the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), in the Department of Sociology at Durham University in the UK. If you would like to give us your feedback, suggest a guest, or have a question you'd like us to discuss, get in touch with us at nowandmen@gmail.com.

About your hosts

Stephen Burrell

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I am a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Durham University in the UK, and a Deputy Director of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA). My research is about men and masculinities - especially preventing men's violence against women, and currently, engaging men and boys in caring for the planet. I'm also a trustee for White Ribbon UK and on the steering group for Changing Relations CIC. In my spare time I'm a big fan of drinking tea and being in nature.

Sandy Ruxton

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Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Durham University (UK). Independent researcher, expert on men and masculinities. Previous policy work on human rights, children and families, poverty and social exclusion, and asylum and migration. Programme experience with boys and young men in schools, community, and prisons. Steering Committee member, MenEngage Europe. Volunteer for OX4 Food Crew. Chess-player, bike-rider, tree-hugger. Great grandfather edited Boy's Own Paper, but was sacked.