Nashville NeuroCare’s Dr. W. Scott West recently collaborated with other clinicians and editorial at Harper’s BAZAAR for this article.
Skin cancer rates are rising in young men—and sunscreen use is not.
Here’s is a snippet from the article of Dr. West’s thoughts on the matter:
WHY AREN’T MEN WEARING SUNSCREEN?
“Advertising plays a role, but it’s not the whole picture,” explains board-certified psychiatrist W. Scott West, chief medical officer of Nashville NeuroCare Therapy and a consultant for NeuroStar Advanced Therapy. West notes that in addition to sunscreen—and skincare products generally—being marketed toward women, our society has also actually gendered SPF as feminine through messaging appealing to (and perpetuating) stereotypically female gender norms. As examples, he alludes to sunscreen being associated with protecting “delicate” skin or being necessary to achieve beauty ideals, rather than being framed as a doctor-recommended source of environmental protection against known carcinogens. “Advertising is a representation of well-established gender norms, and when sunscreen is gendered as feminine, not only are men less likely to be exposed to the messaging, but they’re less likely to find it relevant to them,” he says. “In some cases, they might consider that messaging at odds with their masculinity.”