Macho men 'able to heal more quickly'
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Friday, 16, Mar 2007 11:45
Men who fit the classic Hollywood tough-guy mould may be able to heal more quickly, according to startling new research from scientists in the US.
Males typically defined as masculine - strong, capable of endurance and tough - were seen to have an improved recovery rate, according to the University of Missouri-Columbia.
In the study of occupations typically associated with masculinity such as the armed forces, the researchers found there was a correlation between their machismo and their ability to recover from serious injury.
Writing in the American Psychological Association's journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, Professor Glen Good of the MU college of education said there were some interesting conclusions.
"It has long been assumed that men are not as concerned and don't take as good of care of their health," he said, "but what we're seeing here is that the same ideas that led to their injuries may actually encourage their recovery."
"The immediate message here is to encourage psychotherapy along with traditional methods of healing," he added.
Scientists say psycho-social issues could now be addressed in a bid to speed up recovery rates, with Professor Good arguing that attempts to "redefine strength and masculinity in ways that benefit every stage of health care" could yield results.
The study could also be used as the basis for developing treatments of those soldiers who have suffered injuries while serving in Iraq, particularly because the war was unlike some of its predecessors with the high rates of non-fatal injuries.