Men wrestle with changing times

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 June, 2011, 12:00am


The erosion of their traditional role as family breadwinners may be a source of stress for the city's men, a survey by a social welfare group has found.

A poll by the Kowloon Federation of Associations found that 62.3 per cent of women interviewed no longer thought of men as breadwinners and women as housewives. But 55.2 per cent of men still held the traditional view of male and female roles.

'The change in such thinking reveals that stay-home fathers nowadays are more common than in the past, which could be a source of pressure, as men traditionally were the ones who went out to work,' said Kin Hung Kam-in, a committee member of the association.

The survey found that 61.2 per cent of interviewees believed that money was the main source of pressure for men.

Hung said many men, particularly in the 18-to-40 age group, were worried their income was not enough to support their families and, in some cases, they were frustrated as their wives earned more than them.

Some 48. 4 per cent of men questioned said they would handle the stress by themselves, relying on smoking or drinking rather than seeking help from others.

'Relying on drinking and smoking to release pressure is unhealthy,' said Neil Wai Hoi-ying, another committee member.

The government is planning 20 community centres for mental wellness, the first of which opened in Tin Shui Wai last May. Wai said such centres should offer services to help men combat stress.


The proportion of Hong Kong's population who sought treatment for mental health problems in 2008-09, during the financial crisis