Men’s fertility needs more respect

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When it comes to reproduction, men just don’t get the attention they deserve. How women’s health affects fertility has long been studied. Much less, however, is known about how men’s health affects reproduction, according to Rene Almeling, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, and co-author Miranda R. Waggoner, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton. Even though family history and health habits matter for men as well as women, the only place men are likely to get counseling on the topic is a sperm bank, say the researchers, whose findings appeared in December in the journal Gender & Society. This relative lack of attention to men leaves questions unanswered, including how men’s reproductive contributions are understood.