November 2021

Men Prefer Cleaning the Bathroom to Seeing a Provider

When it comes to healthy lifestyle choices, men and women are far from equal. Men smoke and drink more. They make riskier choices. And they’re prone to putting off checkups and other medical visits, even if they’re sick or injured.


In fact, about 72% of men said they’d rather clean the bathroom or mow the lawn than see a healthcare provider.

That’s according to a survey of more than 1,000 men across the U.S. The data reveals a risky reluctance. After all, men have a higher risk than women for illness and death.

The responses suggest men shun treatment due to:


  • Social stigma. The stereotype of a strong, masculine man is often passed down through families and reinforced in broader culture. Two-fifths of survey respondents learned, as children, that men don’t complain about health problems. They may avoid medical care to show toughness to others, especially to other men.

  • Shame and judgment. One in 4 men had felt judged by a healthcare professional in the past. As a result, one-fifth said they haven’t been completely honest, even when they did book a visit. Some see providers as incompetent or untrustworthy.

  • Resistance to change. About 40% of men who held back from their healthcare providers thought problems would resolve on their own. And 36% hid the truth because they didn’t want to hear they needed to alter their lifestyle.

  • Discomfort. Finally, men may feel uneasy discussing sensitive issues. A total of 46% said they didn’t want to talk with healthcare providers about sex-related concerns, especially. Weight, exercise, and alcohol and drug use were also touchy topics.

Fortunately, the survey also provides clues for how to motivate men to seek care. Stressing their responsibilities may help. More than 8 in 10 men—82%—said they aim to stay healthy because friends and family rely on them.

And more would go see a healthcare provider if it was easier. Virtual visits, appointments after work hours, or screenings at events they were already attending might encourage them.




Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley, MSN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2021
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.