Setun Registered User

The Dick van Dyke bit made me laugh. I didn't find the rest funny, not because of its supposed offensiveness but because it was a bit too obvious to warrant a chuckle.

I think the reasons men don't take their health seriously are varied and complex. Funnily enough I think one of the main reasons is that most see it as a waste of time - assuming that there's nothing wrong with them and that "they'll be grand" after a while.

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Daddio said:

Funnily enough I think one of the main reasons is that most see it as a waste of time - assuming that there's nothing wrong with them and that "they'll be grand" after a while.

Excellent point.Id be exactly the same,unless Im in absolute bits then I dont go to a doctor.Foolish perhaps but I cant justify to myself going and spending whatever amount of money it costs having medicals or tests when I feel completely fine.

Its certainly nothing to to with society somehow seeing me as being less "manly" or any rubbish like that.

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iptba Registered User

I have a few things to do today so not sure how much time I'll have to give to this.

Anyway, I just had a quick look at the Men's Health Forum in Ireland page:

There is growing evidence that in constructing, displaying and maintaining their male identity, men engage in risk behaviours that can be seriously hazardous to their health. Since sickness may be seen as an expression of weakness, many men may decide not to seek help and, instead, present a stoical, brave and unflinching front to the outside world. This may account, in part, for why - despite their health profile - men in Ireland are reluctant users of health services and continue to present (too) late in the course of an illness.

iptba Registered User


Demeaning phrases stop men checking health
By Tom Moberly, 29 November 2010

Demeaning phrases used to describe male illness are putting men off accessing health services, a survey suggests.

Demeaning phrases have such as 'manflu' prevented men from seeing a GP

In a survey of 3,000 people, 52% of men said the term ‘man flu’ had prevented them seeking advice for a legitimate illness.

In addition, 53% of men said they worried about wasting GPs’ time. Only 55% of men visit their GP once a year or more, compared with 72% of women.

Many men also said they would not visit their GP if they suffered persistent thirst (80%), frequent urination (77%) and erectile dysfunction (75%), even though such symptoms could be early warning signs of underlying health conditions.

The survey included 1,500 men and was conducted on behalf of Pfizer.

Galvasean Registered User

Morgase said:

There is some evidence that testosterone has a role in suppressing the immune system. So, for males, it's a trade-off between good health and sexual signalling.

"Hey baby, the reason why I'm sick is because I'm so damn sexy! "

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Super_Sonic Registered User

My girlfriend and I were chatting about "man flu" recently and how she wouldn't give me any sympathy over being sick from a hangover (fair enough) or "man flu".

My argument was that she should give me sympathy for "man flu" as it may be the initial symptoms of something like Ebola.

On a more serious note, something that may seem like "man flu" could be just the symptoms of something more serious.

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"Demeaning phrases stop men checking health"

I dont agree with this.

A researcher asking a man do you "strongly agree " or "strongly disagree" with the following statement by a vested interest does not constitute anything more than market research by a marketing company as commisioned research by a drug company.

If you want to see whether it is the case you would compare incidents of preventable illnesses in Ireland against international studies of best practice.

There is a huge difference between a cultural belief that a man will not take care of his health and the idea that an informed man will not take care of his health or that health services are not available or affordable for a man to take care of his heath or that the health service spend on women is more than on men.

So are there hard statistics to back this up.

Are there GP studies on this phenomena ?

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iptba Registered User

I've never claimed to be an expert on men's health issues and I've other things on my plate at the moment so don't have much time to devote to looking up men's health research at this time.

However, I do know a bit about medical research in general and even within "fancier" research e.g. the peer-reviewed literature, surveys and such qualitative data do have a place especially when one is looking at attitudes.

I imagine if I was to quote this sort of data:

If you want to see whether it is the case you would compare incidents of preventable illnesses in Ireland against international studies of best practice.
it would be criticised also.

So I'm not going to respond using any narrow confines put on what might be seen as relevant or convincing - I think whatever I post is going to be criticised.

Anyway, I had a quick look at The Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) website.

It links to this:

Men in Northern Ireland: Report 3a
December 2007
Olivia O’Riordan and Paula Devine
Men’s health

The Men in Northern Ireland (MINI) series is produced by ARK, a joint project between Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster. Its aim is to make material on the social and political life of Northern Ireland available to the widest audience.

Respondents were asked in the 2004 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, whether they believed men feel embarrassed about visiting doctors and other health services. 86% of men and 91% of women said ‘yes, definitely’ or ‘yes, probably’ which helps to explain why so many men are reluctant to visit their local G.P. In addition, almost a quarter (24%) of male respondents agreed with the statement that men’s health was not taken seriously by the health services. 17% of female respondents also agreed. There was general agreement by 93% of men and 95% of women that men ignore minor health problems until they become more serious.

Dental health
Figure 2 reflects the results of the 2004/5 Continuous Household Survey which showed that men were significantly less likely than women, to visit a dentist. Less than half the male respondents (47%) reported that they go for regular dental check-ups, while 63% of female
respondents said that they do (see Figure 2).

Data from the 2006 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey show that 17% of men were quite or very dissatisfied with their local doctors/GP, while only 12% of female respondents were.

GP visits
Statistics show that over the last few years men have been more reluctant to visit their GP than women. (iptba: I'm not sure if this data really shows this that well) The results of the 2006/7 Continuous Household Survey shows that 12% of male respondents had visited a doctor in the last 14 days while 18% of women had. Figures from
the 2006 Northern Ireland Health and Social Wellbeing Survey show that the proportion of men and women suffering from common conditions are very similar, for example, angina (females 6%, males 7%), diabetes not related to pregnancy (females 4%, males 4%) and heart attack
(females 2%, males 4%). However, the proportion of men having high blood pressure diagnosed by a health professional is much lower than for women (19% and 27% respectively), regardless of age.

Incidentally, here is background information on The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey before it is criticised:
The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey was launched in October 1998 as a resource for everyone interested in the social attitudes of people living in Northern Ireland.

Set up by Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster and run every year, the survey aims to put on record the attitudes, values and beliefs of the people in Northern Ireland on a wide range of social policy issues.


I am not going to criticize you for higlighting factual information.

If a health issue is health with as a health issue with solid facts great but if its turned into a gender politics hypotheses then the gender arguement obscures the health issue.

iptba Registered User

CDfm said:
If a health issue is health with as a health issue with solid facts great but if its turned into a gender politics hypotheses then the gender arguement obscures the health issue.
Well, I'm not sure how easy it is to separate the two with phrases like "man flu".

It and that joke has misandric connotations in my opinion. Indeed when Googling for information, I found an interesting thread: . Unfortunately, the language (not swearing) may put a lot of people off.

I only skimmed down a bit. Post #18 gets at what I annoys me on the issue:
on the one hand we are told that men don't look after their health and should go to the doctor more quickly with their problems and then simultaneously, with "man flu" men are wimps who complain to readily about their health problems.

I'm not sure if there is much "peer reviewed" research on "man flu" and any possible effects it might have at this stage. Nothing showed up on PubMed. It seems to be a relatively new word and published research can take quite a while between applying for funding (if necessary), getting ethical permission, doing the research and analysing the data, writing up the paper, going through peer review and then even when an article is accepted, it can sometimes take a while for it to be published.


A discussion on men's health and why men may not go to their doctor earlier is a bit broader than simply "man flu" and so might involve a lot less gender politics. I might look for more stats on that in the next while.


Maybe so, but Mother in Law jokes may not be pc either but the phrase lends itself to humour.

Anyway, here is a factual article we posted in our spoof support thread.

Man flu? Don't be a big girl's blouse – it's woman flu!

View Gallery

Published Date: 17 December 2008
By Shan Ross
IT'S always assumed that those suffering from "man flu" are exaggerating their symptoms to extract maximum sympathy from a few sniffles and force their partners to run after them with tissues, hot water bottles and painkillers.

But research released today says the condition does not exist and that women are in fact worse than men at complaining of colds and flu.

A poll found that most women admit exaggerating their symptoms to gain attention or to get a day off work. M

en, on the other hand, are revealed as more stoic and less likely to create a fuss or demand attention when ill.

Gladeana McMahon, a consultant psychotherapist, and Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, believes women could be using illness as "pay-back time" for attention denied them in everyday life.

"Women tend to talk more about their feelings generally, but men it seems, appear to vocalise more when they're sick – that's where the myth around man flu originated.

"So it's surprising that these results show women to be the biggest complainers when it comes to colds and flu.

"Maybe it is more a case of needing more recognition for what they do and, if they can't get that on a day-to-day basis, then looking for a bit of sympathy when they're sick is a way of making up for this".

When it comes to recovery time, women were also found to take significantly longer to return to full health.

Fourteen per cent of men said they were usually back to normal in a day or two, while a quarter of female respondents said it could take them eight to ten days to get back on their feet, according to a UK-wide poll of 2,300 adults by Actimel, the probiotic yoghurt drink makers.

However, with regards to prevention and cold or flu management, women take the lead in supporting their body's defences with more men heading straight to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle (74 per cent as opposed to 70 per cent).

Carina Norris, a Fife-based author and nutritionist for Channel 4's Turn Back Your Body Clock, said: "The winter months from November to February are the worst for catching colds because we are all crammed indoors together.

"It is a good idea to take nutrients to supplement the immune system. I'd recommend taking things such as vitamin C, zinc, probiotic yoghurt in drinks or in tablet form. Garlic in warming stews is another line of defence."

Professor John Oxford, cold and flu expert from The Royal London Hospital, said: "The best way to prevent either 'man' or 'woman' flu is probably to sleep in a separate bedroom to a suffering partner. This close proximity is a sure way to spread the virus."

John Swinburne, former Scottish Senior Citizens' Unity Party MSP, said: "If you're used to being active it can be hard to accept any restrictions when you're unwell.

"Quite frankly, I'm surprised at this survey saying women complain the most as they are usually strong in adversity.

"When I started my working life there was no sick pay so people just had to soldier on, probably passing the germs to everyone. There wasn't the chance to lie about in bed."


LATEST figures from the Office for National Statistics show that between July 2007 to June 2008 about 5.8 million scheduled working days were lost to sickness or injury.

The total cost of absence was £19.9 billion.

Women and those working in the public sector are most likely to be absent from work.

The sickness absence rate for women was 2.9 per cent, compared with 2.2 per cent for men. Among men, those aged 16-24 were most likely to be absent, whereas for women those aged 25-34 had the highest rate (3.1 per cent).

Minor ailments, such as colds, are the most significant cause of short-term absences.

The average employee took 6.7 days off sick

As you can see from the article there is a statistical difference between the genders taking sick days in the UK and men take fewer days than women !

donfers Registered User

it's not funny in the slightest, obvious stereotypical and predictable humour holds no appeal for me

man flu jokes are about as funny as mother in law or blonde jokes i.e. not very, at least in my opinion

jokes that base themselves entirely on lazy labelling are just a bit shoite if you ask me, I am offended more by the fact that they insult my intelligence than anything else

iptba is trying admirably in my view to raise concerns about how men have a more laidback or stoical attitude to health issues (ironically enough the "jokes" suggest men are whingers and complainers about health concerns when the reality is most guys will have to be at deaths door before they seek help)

however with regard to these particular manflu jokes I wouldn't see any agenda at play there other than some rather unfunny comment

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I suppose it depends who you are trying to engage in argument wise.

I have a bit of a dose at the moment and was minded by my partner this evening paracetemol & hot drinks.

So a bit of friendly frivolous banter hit the spot for me this evening. A bit of self deprecating humour and then some faux misandry from the ladies in a feed/punchline system.

We do it for the banter - and no it is not serious.

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banquo Registered User

I have manflu right now


banquo said:
I have manflu right now

I feel your pain .

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