An HPV vaccine for men is likely to be approved in the next year, but according to a recent study, men are fairly unlikely to get the shot, even if told it would help protect their female partners against cervical cancer. Sadly, we’re not surprised. Many men won’t sport a rubber to protect themselves and their ladies (yes I know I’m generalizing here), why would we expect them to get poked by a needle?
The research team who conducted the study marketed the HPV vaccination to males in two ways; one message pushed a self-protection method that focused on the benefits for the men themselves, while the other stressed the benefits their partners would reap. Both groups averaged around a 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 6 of how inclined they would be to walk to the doc and get injected.
Mary Gerend, an assistant professor at Florida State who collaborated on the study, interpreted the results similarly. “Thinking about the benefit to their own health — protection against rare genital cancers and genital warts — is all men really need to know; telling them all that extra stuff really isn’t going to push them one way or another,” she explained.
In other words, since most men who carry HPV never develop health problems (aka genital warts) from the STD, they’re unlikely to care very much about prevention — either for themselves or their sexual partners. The study will help marketers when it comes to selling the male HPV vaccine, but other than that, the findings only help to reinforce the assumption that (some) men are selfish and lazy. Either that, or they’re petrified of a little prick!