Men are being urged to participate in a major attitudinal study launched by Men’s Development Network (MDN) as it marks 25 years of work in the sphere of male health, well-being, and transforming masculinities.
The Men’s Attitudes Now (MAN) survey is being conducted with input from Equimindo, a global leader in engaging men and boys, to promote gender equality and prevent violence.
Its aim is to better understand how men feel about themselves, how they feel they are seen by society and how they feel about specific issues relating to being a man in Ireland
Dr. Noel Richardson, director of the National Centre for Men’s Health at South East Technological University (SETU), is urging men to participate in the survey.
The Carlow-based academic has undertaken pioneering research on the health and well-being of Irish farmers, including the report which led to the Engage ‘On Feirm Ground’ training initiative currently being rolled out countrywide to frontline agri advisors with the skills to engage farmers on their health and well-being.
He is also a member of the expert operational group overseeing FarmConnect, a soon-to-launch European Innovation Partnership (EIP) pilot project with similar aims targeting ‘hard to reach’ farmers. MDN has taken a lead role in both these programmes.
Dr. Richardson is a former international distance runner who was physical trainer of the Kilkenny four-in-a-row hurling team in the 2000s.
From a dairy farming background in Ahane, Co. Limerick, he has made it his mission to uncover the reasons why statistically, so many men in agricultural communities are disproportionately affected by health and well-being issues.
Dr. Richardson has worked as a policy advisor on men’s health at the Health Service Executive (HSE) since 2005 and was principal author of the first ever national policy on men’s health, published in Ireland four years later.
He co-authored the first EU report on men’s health in 2011 and his research interests include gender and health, mental health, and suicide prevention in men.
“This is a very interesting and worthwhile exercise with the potential to inform policy improvements supporting men’s health and well-being,” said Dr. Richardson, as he encouraged people to participate.
“It is an important opportunity to find out what men in Ireland really think about a variety of issues, including traditional masculinities, contemporary peer pressures, and the Irish male’s sense of place in society at a time of change and challenge for men of all ages.
“I very much look forward to the findings from this valuable research.”
Since its establishment in 1997, MDN has been to the fore in advocating for the creation of a gender-equal society.
Operating a range of programmes, the Waterford-based non-government organisation (NGO) works through a strengths-based, community development model to create better lives for men and boys, their families, friends, and communities across Ireland.
The survey which is entirely anonymous, is open to men throughout the island aged 18 upwards and is seeking a representative demographic sample of 1,000 respondents.
Many of the questions are focused on the social conditioning and influences that affect men and their relationships in modern Ireland, meaning the findings will be of keen interest to women as well.
The survey is estimated to take 15-20 minutes to complete.