Tough Stuff

Juno Lee, Akshata Malhotra, Pragya Mishra, Mafe Perez

Bringing reproductive health into the realm of fitness for men
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Our starting point:
We began by trying to understand men’s point of view about their and their partner’s biological clocks. While researching we realized that most men are completely cut off  from this conversation after high school, until the point where they decide to conceive with their partners. Often this involvement comes too late and couples can face infertility and abnormal or difficult births. The symptomatic issue we were addressing was men being removed from responsibility of family planning. However, we realized that the upstream problem we needed to address was lack of men’s awareness about the ticking biological clocks.


Our approach:
Our approach was to understand why men do not feel part of the conversation, even though they very much should be. Through our research, we understood that men have a strong perception of reproduction being a feminine issue. They are mostly uncomfortable talking about it amongst themselves and with their partners. hexagonWe wanted to change this perception amongst men who are between 25 to 35 years of age as that is the age when they are the most removed from this conversation but women have already started taking these factors into accounts. Because of the strong perception of this issue being feminine, addressing this issue by including it into larger context of ‘men’s health’ may engage our audience the most.

insightThe outcome
Our aim was to include reproductive health into the realm of fitness for men. Reproductive health, implies that people are able to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so (WHO definition). We decided to create a campaign based in gyms across New York where most men come for taking care of their bodies. Our larger campaign called Tough Stuff is a campaign happens in the month of Movember in gyms across New York.
It will talk about men’s physical well being by linking fitness (which men are already aware and involved in) to reproductive health. We created the following:

1. Spatial graphics for passive engagement of gym users. It is focused on myths about reproductive health, habits for fertility, the right times for important decisions. This is to include reproductive health into the realm of fitness in their minds.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 1.48.11 PM  Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 1.48.32 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-06 at 1.48.23 PM 2. A toolkit for personal trainers. Since personal trainers are people who men trust with physical information. The toolkit informs personal trainers about myths, questions and “must-knows” about reproductive health of men and women.

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Research references and resources

The full Tough Stuff presentation is available to download here.

Get Britain Fertile campaign
Australians Unaware Fertility Declines Early 30s, Asian Scientist, 2013
Understanding male fertility
The male biological clock, Baby Center

See also full list of blog resources, including Emily Martin’s The Woman In the Body

Crit feedback and next steps

Keep it separate from Movember, even if you borrow campaign tactics from them.
Pick another calendar day and own it as Tough Stuff Day
What about guys who don’t go to the gym at all?
What other touchpoints (subway stations, mens rooms in bars?)
Good to focus on potency, pride, positive associations of parenting and fatherhood but what about infertile men and weary moms? How far can you extend this?

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