Dear Friends of Male Studies,
Women live five years longer than men, so, “hey, good on ya,” as they say in Australia. Let’s see what it means. Take 100 women and translate their longevity into 500 additional life years lived. Take a million women and it translates into 5 million life years lived. Now, take our nation, and then the global population. Five years become billions of additional years lived for women while the men are dead.
We could create a dystopian novel about this. Someone already did that: “Afterland,” where all the males died of a mass male specific pandemic, leaving a world without men.
Or, we could continue to launch into the solution via the study of the male as with the current Foundation for Male Studies project: The Male Parent, a Study of Maleness in the Threshold Event of Pregnancy and Later.
Male parent awareness highlights the need to see pregnancy as a male-female event. What happens to or affects either partner has a profound effect on the other.
PERIPARTUM DEPRESSION: MALE
The fact that peripartum depression in men occurs in 3 to 7 percent of men was only “discovered” ten years ago. Do the numbers. 3 to 7 percent of 10 million births translates into, say, 350,000 depressed fathers whose condition was unrecognized, whose life was altered, whose illness affected all family members, and even the strength of the union, into the next decades.
NEW APPROACH: INCLUSIVE
The Foundation for Male Studies is proposing a major study, in partnership with one or more major medical research institutions, that builds on the disparate existing research proving a large gap in the standard of care for children, mothers, fathers, and other partners in the months and ultimately years before and after the birth of a child.
PREGNANCY AS A THRESHOLD EVENT
Belatedly, decades after the groundbreaking research into the lasting impact of post-partum depression on mothers, research scientists and physicians are beginning to understand the interconnectedness between mothers, fathers, partners and children. The threshold event of childbirth effects and is affected by the mental health of the entire family unit.
Just as landmark longitudinal studies have shown that the temperament of a child during the first week of birth was determinative of the child’s mental health at 17 years of age, the study we are proposing is a major longitudinal study to determine the impact of the family unit’s mental health on the life of a child. There are immediate and longer-term interventions that will revolutionize the practices of obstetrics, family medicine and pediatrics across the world.
This is the Foundation for Male Studies’ immediate priority, and in the coming weeks we will take a deeper dive into the existing studies, our informed recommendations for immediate and long term measures to address the gap in care, and our progress in partnering with a major medical institution to launch a longitudinal pilot study.
As always, we appreciate the generosity of our supporters, and hope that you will join us in creating a new standard of care that takes into the account the importance of mothers, fathers and partners in setting the course of our lives.
Thank you for your support
Edward M. Stephens, MD
Chair, Foundation for Male Studies
The Foundation’s plans moving forward into 2020 and 2021:
Thank you for your support.