by Ken Mosesian In addition to being Gay Pride Month, June is also Men's Health Month. Why talk about men's health? Because there is a not so quiet crisis going on. As noted on the Men's Health Network (MHN) website www.menshealthnetwork.org/ lack of awareness, poor health education and cultural influences have contributed to an ongoing deterioration in the overall state of men's health.
MHN notes that in 1920, male and female life expectancy were about equal. Today, women outlive men by more than five years. Men die at higher rates from 9 of the top 10 causes of death, and there is less funding for men's health issues than for women's health issues.
From the perspective of male reproductive health, the disparity is particularly noticeable, with the vast majority of dollars spent on women's fertility issues vs. men's fertility issues.
One of the most insightful comments on the issue of men's reproductive and sexual health echos the primary point made by Men's Health Network - the lack of awareness.
"Perhaps the most difficult obstacle, however, is that service providers, policymakers and the general public have little awareness of the scope of men's sexual and reproductive health needs, much less an understanding of the importance of addressing them. This lack of awareness and understanding has helped to create other obstacles to meeting men's needs and has limited efforts to effect change. Raising awareness is the first step toward providing men with the care they need."
- Analysis of The Guttmacher Report "Looking at Men's Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs"
The AFA is working to increase awareness about male reproductive health http://www.theafa.org/library/for-men/ and salutes Men's Health Network for their dedicated work on this important issue.