The subject of sexual and reproductive health and rights is often synonymous with “women’s issues” and the key players usually are female. However, men also engage in sex (duh) and have their own concerns regarding their reproductive health and justice. Yet, men, particularly straight males, often do not engage in theses discussions and are left out of important and relevant issues. And, so, I dedicate this post to all the men, particularly those that have heterosexual relationships. You, too, want to prevent pregnancy, have access to abortion, and understand your sexuality and reproductive health.
Recently, Women’s Health magazine went out to the street to investigate how much men really know about birth control. It turns out, not very much. See how you compare.
If you’re a straight male, it would behoove you to learn more about contraception. Luckily, Bedsider recently released Guy’s Guide to help you in your quest for knowledge. The videos are straightforward and concise as well as hilarious, making it easier to watch for even the most awkward dudes.
To involve more men in reproductive justice, Choice USA launched Bro-Choice, a campaign that does just that. With more men advocating for healthy sexuality and reproductive rights, the power to achieve policy change can be met. The campaign also raises awareness about how traditional ideas of masculinity hurt everyone. By engaging men in this dialogue and work, the idea that reproductive justice and sexual health are “women’s issues” can be overturned. You can take action today by signing the Bro-Choice Pledge.
Men’s active participation in sexual health and reproductive justice is important not just for pregnancy prevention, but also for planning a pregnancy and raising a family. A recent article in the Washington Post discusses the emotional hardship men experience during infertility. When a couple experiences problems conceiving, men are marginalized and become “the forgotten mourners”. As a result of the traditional stereotypes of masculinity, they feel a great deal of stress and are unable to confide in friends, enduring the pressure in private.
It is evident much needs to be done to actively involve men in sexual and reproductive health dialogues. All men – straight, gay, transgender, men of color, low-income men, white men – must be included to promote reproductive justice and achieve gender equality. But it starts with each individual man. Take action, speak out, learn, and pass it on.Further Reading Men’s Sexual Health [Planned Parenthood] Inside the Bro-Choice Campaign: Giving Men the Green Light to Step Up for Reproductive Justice [RH Reality Check]