To All the Men –
Over the past twenty to thirty years our medical and technological understanding has grown by leaps and bounds. From barely grasping the full effect of various hormones and chemicals in the brain to mapping the hormonal origin of the ability to nurture. We’ve made amazing strides and among these strides has been women’s health and medicine.
Just a few decades ago many men concluded their interest into women’s health with the attitude that we’ll just never understand a woman.
For centuries we have held her body as a mystery. For romanticism that serves a beautiful purpose, but in reality it creates far more problems for the women to which we adorn with such awe. Many times I have heard of gruesome historical stories relating to what some called modern medicine and others called butchery. Back then, by their standards, that was on some low level acceptable. Today it is not. The good news is that modern medicine and technology has brought us a long way to care for our women far better than our forefathers ever could. As a man I try to think forward to the possibility of having a daughter of my own. Part of my role in providing security for her is growing in my understanding of her health.
As men, it should be one of our chief concerns to obtain a significant and ever expanding knowledge base of women and their health as they are our sisters, mothers, wives, and most importantly, our daughters. Today there has been more progress in breast cancer and various areas of illnesses afflicting women than in any time in the history of our species. It is worth mentioning because it has resulted from a multitude of men and women and their tireless effort.
With advances in medicine and our understanding of women’s health, we now understand a large part of what naturally makes a woman Mother Nature’s chosen nurturer. We understand the “bonding hormone” called oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that both men and women produce but is produced much more in women during their younger years than in men. This is the hormone responsible for giving a woman the want and need to build incredibly strong and long lasting intimate bonds with their babies and spouses.
A wonderful example of the oxytocin difference in men and women is demonstrated in sex; immediately after sex a woman’s level of oxytocin increases far higher than her partner. There is a longing to be close afterwards and this closeness makes her feel a stronger and more intimate bond beyond just the act of sex. This hormone is also increased after childbirth causing women to have an incredibly strong bond with their newborn. With men it’s almost the complete opposite. We create the same hormone but in much smaller quantities in our younger years. As we age our levels of oxytocin increase making us want closer relationships and bonds with our children, grandchildren, and spouses.
Oxytocin is only a small aspect of women’s health but the reason I point it out is, thirty years ago it was virtually unknown. Other illnesses like breast cancer take center stage and we have thrived to provide an incredible amount of research and options so that breast cancer is an illness that claims fewer lives year after year. Today it is a fight that our women (and a small amount of men) can win.
This is Just the Beginning
There is still much research needed. With research into oxytocin maybe we can understand abnormalities that may result from a low level of this hormone. When a woman suffers emotional trauma, does this hormone become deficient? If so, it would explain why some women who survive emotionally and physically traumatic events struggle to create that bond with their husbands and sometimes their children. Do rape victims produce less oxytocin? If so, how do we help them? What is a normal level and how do we fix this problem. These are just a few of the questions we need to find answers to. New doors that once opened will lead to better lives, relationships, treatments, and medical procedures for women.
As a man, I can’t speak as a woman would about women’s health; however I can speak as a man should. It is our duty as men to help care for and help provide security for our women. To help strengthen them so that they can live out their lives in the most meaningful way they choose. To support them and help them find answers to the problems that plagues them. In doing so we enrich our future and we do our part to better understand what we cherish the most – our women.
About the Author:
John-Brandon Pierre is a United States Marine who has served for eleven years and counting. After motivating individuals in one of the most stressful organizations in the world, both in and out of combat, he became a motivational speaker and life coach. His philosophy is that life has a clear way of testing our fortitude and resolve, and it is through adaptation and perseverance that our species has survived over time. He helps individuals adapt to life through perspective to overcome the obstacles life. Originally from Texas, John-Brandon lives in San Diego, California and keeps a blog at Real World Motivation.