Marital Unions and Risk Behavior: Motivations, Perceptions and Regulatory Agents

Bruna Firmino
Raquel Coutinho , Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional
Ana Paula Verona, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)

In Brazil, where “true masculinity” is inherently unhealthy, celibacy may reinforce gender stereotypes, making men more prone to risk behavior to affirm their dominant position. Most studies, however, show a relationship between marital unions and the acquisition of health benefits as result of protective factors, especially for men. This study aims at analyzing the incidence of selected risk behaviors by marital status among Brazilian men and the personal motivation for these behaviors. Logistic regressions were performed using Brazilian National Health Survey (2013) data with a subsample of men over 18 years. Preliminary results show a smaller probability of men in formal unions to adopt risk behaviors, such as binge drinking and tobacco consumption compared to unmarried individuals. In-depth interviews are currently being conducted and will elucidate the mechanisms in which marital unions promote the abandonment of risk behaviors and the role of health regulation and support agents for men.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions