Men and disaster: Men's experiences of the Black Saturday bushfires and the aftermath

Claire Zara, Debra Parkinson, Alyssa Duncan, Kiri Joyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In the context of a natural disaster, gender stereotypes play an active role in determining the health and safety of everyone involved. Focusing on men, this paper demonstrates the harmful effects that social expectations of masculinity can have on coping mechanisms and decision-making. Expectations based on gender have broad implications for families and communities and for the ways in which emergency management personnel and procedures operate during crisis response. Research findings convey observations and feelings of 32 men about their experiences of the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. The findings conclude that constructed ideals of masculinity, and the resulting pressures and expectations, contribute significantly to community suffering, and that acknowledgement of this by the emergency management sector is necessary for improvements in response and recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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