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? How can we engage in productive conversations about gender equality? 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 a wide-range of topics connected to masculinity and the lives of men and boys, such as preventing gender-based violence, promoting active fatherhood, and supporting men's health.

The podcast is hosted by two social science researchers, based on the opposite sides of the world: Sandy Ruxton from Durham University's Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (UK) and Dr Stephen Burrell from the University of Melbourne (Australia). 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 at nowandmen@gmail.com. And if you like what we do, please share us with your friends, and leave a review on Apple podcasts!

About your hosts

Stephen Burrell

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I am a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where I moved to at the beginning of 2024. My research is about men, masculinities and violence. I am particularly interested in the prevention of men's violence against women, building gender equality, addressing environmental harm, and promoting an ethic of care among men and boys. In my spare time I'm a big fan of drinking tea, being in nature, eating vegan ice cream, and listening to heavy metal music. I'm also a trustee for White Ribbon UK.

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.