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“I don’t mind being ugly but I don’t wanna have skin cancer”: A qualitative study of men over 35’s attitudes to UV exposure and a facial morphing intervention

Persson, sofia and Grogan, Sarah and Dhingra, katie and Benn, yael (2019) “I don’t mind being ugly but I don’t wanna have skin cancer”: A qualitative study of men over 35’s attitudes to UV exposure and a facial morphing intervention. Psychology and Health. ISSN 0887-0446

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Abstract

Objectives: Skin cancer is a growing problem globally. Older men have been largely ignored in previous research, even though men may generally be prone to riskier exposure to the sun than women. Past research suggests that appearance-focused techniques such as facial morphing can increase motivations to use sun protection among women of all ages, and younger men. Design: was qualitative, consisting of individual interviews. Method: was semi-structured interviews with 25 older men, to examine attitudes to UV exposure and reactions to a facial morphing intervention. Interviews were subjected to thematic analysis. Results: Three themes were constructed: masculine UV exposure; appearance that’s accepted; personal responsibility. The men did not identify gaps in their sun protection behaviour, and demonstrated a lack of concern about ageing and appearance. These attitudes translated into a lack of motivation for behaviour change due to ageing acceptance. However, motivation to change behaviour came from health concerns resulting from the intervention. Conclusions: The men experienced different motivations and barriers for sun protection use than women of similar ages. Facial morphing can be effective with older men, but may need to be reframed to focus on health implications and personal choice.

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