While it is no surprise that men would rather discuss sports or current events with their sons than talk about health issues, it is important to note that when these conversations don’t take place, sons are missing important parts of their medical history. The Cleveland Clinic wanted to learn more about this, so they conducted a survey, and the results led them to create the MENtion It campaign to get men and their families talking.
The Cleveland Clinic surveyed 567 U.S. men over the age of 18 who are currently fathers or father figures to a boy, and who had a father and/or father figure growing up, and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) reported that they wished that their own father (figure) had been more open to them more about health topics. It was also reported that almost half (47 percent) of fathers with sons revealed that they didn’t know about their family health history until they started to go to the doctor as an adult.
While the results showed that dads of today are a bit more likely than their dads were about discussing men’s health issues, there are some areas where men still tend to keep quiet. Those areas involve diet, annual physical exams, urological and sex issues. In fact, only around two-thirds said their father discusses diet (38%) and getting annual health exams (35%) with them, and even fewer discuss sex (28%) and urological health (23%).
The survey also shed light on how different ethnicities approach these conversations differently.
- About half (50 percent) of African-American fathers with sons whose family doesn’t openly talk about health issues and concerns want to break the pattern with their families.
- About two-thirds (62 percent) of Hispanic fathers with sons said that their family hid family health issues from them as a kid but talked to them more about it as an adult.
- About one-third (31 percent) Hispanic fathers say they want to talk to their son about health topics but struggle to find the right words.
Daniel Shoskes, MD, an attending urologist and the director of the Center for Men’s Health at Cleveland Clinic, spoke with Michelle Tompkins for the Inquisitr about the study, what information men should share with their families, how to start the tough “talks” with family members, why men are so reluctant to open up, the barriers that stop dads from talking to their sons about health, and more.
See the full interview below.
For more information on the MENtion It from the Cleveland Clinic, go here.
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