This is according to UNAids which said these harmful gender norms and notions of masculinity may increase men’s vulnerability to HIV.
“For example, stereotypes of male ‘strength’ and invincibility can lead to men not using condoms and avoiding health services, such as HIV testing. It has been shown by research in 12 low- and middle-income countries that men with less equitable attitudes to women are less likely to be tested for HIV,” it said.
Clinical psychologist Funyanwa Pukwana said this was the result of underlying belief systems that men were strong and powerful beings, and that they should be seen as aggressive, forceful and powerful.
“With this definition to live up to, this idea can put men at risk because the theory is that they are indestructible. Things like seeking medical help goes against the definition and the understanding as it puts them in a powerful, upper position over the opposite sex. Accepted behaviour they should display includes taking risks, not showing emotion and being dominant,” she said.