Because men have been breadwinners, protectors, soldiers, fathers and husbands for centuries, they have been taught to be strong and firm, thus withstanding pain and images of weakness. This has led to a culture of men, fathers, husbands and partners who often ignore their own health and well-being in the name of masculinity. Also, poor health education and a scarcity of male specific health programs continues.
Since Health Power for Minorities (Health Power) and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (Joint Center) know that “Men’s Health is Power”, we have teamed up to improve the physical, mental and spiritual health of men of color.
This project is primarily based on: (a) research related activities conducted by both organizations, (b) published reports from experts, and (c) research related activities conducted by both organizations, (b) published reports from experts, and (c) the Project Director’s active involvement in the Men’s Caucus of the American Public Health Association (APHA), International Society for Men’s Health, and Men’s Health Network.
Especially helpful in developing this project were:
• Recommendations of the Joint Center’s Commission on Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes‘, whose activities were coordinated by Jermaine Bond, PhD., Senior Research Scientist in the Joint Center’s Health Policy Institute. He is also a Senior Advisor of Health Power, Editor of its Men’s Health Channel, and Director of its “Men’s Health is Power” project.
• Findings from more than 100 health related focus groups and a comparable number of in-depth key person interviews directed by Norma J. Goodwin, MD, Founder, President, and CEO of Health Power, and Editor-in-Chief of its website; and
• A wide variety of Health Power website resources to support and improve the health of boys and men of color including itsMen’s Health Channel, Women’s Health Channel, Teen Channel(named “Teen Power”), Parent Channel, Food and Fitness Channel, Mental Health Channel, and Spiritual Health Channel.
Two special problems regarding the health of men and boys of color are: (a) their health status, and health care, is generally worse than that of White men and boys, and (b) racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be members of low income families and communities.
Although the men’s health movement has received increased attention in recent years, there is no national effort to coordinate disconnected and much needed men’s health services. Also, little attention has been given to preconception health and reproductive life planning needs for potential or actual fathers-to-be. Both situations contribute to many unplanned pregnancies, and single parent and fatherless homes, especially in low income communities.
B. Why Men’s Health is being Re-defined
- This project is based on re-defining men’s health and especially the health of men of color because previous attempts have failed to have a significant impact in decreasing their health disparities. Examples of unacceptable health disparities among men of color follow.
Men in general, and men of color, are less likely than women to:
– get preventive health services;
– have a regular doctor or source of care.
– have poorer health outcomes than women at all economic levels.
– 1 out of 2 U.S. men is diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime compared with
1 out of every 3 U.S. women.
– Men, in general live on average about 5 years less than women.
Many illnesses that are common in men cry out for attention, and for many of them, the percentage of men that experience a serious negative effect is greater in men of color.
Statistics in our website Health and Population Data and Trends Section will allow you to compare health conditions between various racial and ethnic groups, as well as between men and women.
Click here for: Men’s Health is Also a Women’s Health and Family Health Issue.