Men’s transformative health service use: rethinking customer experience of vulnerability

Jacquie McGraw, Rebekah Russell-Bennett, Katherine M. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Preventative health services are keen to identify how to engage men and increase their participation, thus improving health, well-being and life expectancy over time. Prior research has shown general gender norms are a key reason for men’s avoidance of these services, yet there is little investigation of specific gender norms. Furthermore, masculinity has not been examined as a factor associated with customer vulnerability. This paper aims to identify the relationship between gender norm segments for men, likely customer vulnerability over time and subjective health and well-being. Design/methodology/approach: Adult males (n = 13,891) from an Australian longitudinal men’s health study were classified using latent class analysis. Conditional growth mixture modelling was conducted at three timepoints. Findings: Three masculinity segments were identified based on masculine norm conformity: traditional self-reliant, traditional bravado and modern status. All segments had likely customer experience of vulnerability. Over time, the likely experience was temporary for the modern status segment but prolonged for the traditional self-reliant and traditional bravado segments. The traditional self-reliant segment had low subjective health and low overall well-being over time. Practical implications: Practitioners can tailor services to gender norm segments, enabling self-reliant men to provide expertise and use the “Status” norm to reach all masculinity segments. Originality/value: The study of customer vulnerability in a group usually considered privileged identifies differential temporal experiences based on gender norms. The study confirms customer vulnerability is temporal in nature; customer vulnerability changes over time from likely to actual for self-reliant men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


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