Wellness Month: Men’s Health

Dr. Robert Dale’s presentation in the MacMillan Common Room of Harker Hall.

As a part of the new initiative of Wellness Month, along with a myriad of other notable speakers and presenters, Harker Hall hosted Georgian and Resident Urologist Dr. Robert Dale (Class of ’05) to address a multitude of topics pertaining to men’s health and sexual wellness. These issues included STI’s and prevention, social outlook, self-esteem and introspective viewing, and social pressures.

The presentation had an immediate focus on addressing STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), and how to prevent them. This was clearly addressed to senior students of the boarding house and focused mainly on preventative measures. Included in these procedures were the use of condoms, limitation of number of partners, chastity, and the restriction of sexual contact during inebriation. A frightening statistic shows that teenagers aged 16-24 acquire more than half of all STIs due to behavioral, biological, and cultural reasons (U.S Department of Health & Human Services) which stirred up the saying, “It will be sweeter if you wrap your peter”. The truly frightening fact, however, is that many STIs can infect your body without displaying symptoms, and still cause serious health issues. In accordance with the stigma set upon by traditional views of privacy and intimacy, it makes it hard for many young adults to come out and ask for a diagnosis.

Another topic of interest along the lines of men’s health was body-image and social well-being. For a long time, the media has been the sole decider on how people should look. Women in the Roaring 20’s were portrayed to be skinny and tom-boyish, in the Golden Age of Hollywood: curves and an hourglass figure, and in the 60’s a thinner, willowy figure was desirable. Now, in the beginning of the 21st century, we see tall, slender, and athletic with long, toned legs to be the dominant look, with men sporting six-pack abs and tall, angular bodies. Dr. Dale’s view of the human body, however, is not conducive to the media’s.  Society does not have to look like the supermodels on magazines, rather, society has to come to grips with the fact that humans really are, pardon the cliché, “imperfectly perfect”(Robert Dale, Class of ’05).

Robert Dale made it clear that humans have their differences for good reason. He stresses that the world needs individuals who are athletically inclined, those who love sciences, the artists, and the musicians. Without these antiquities, creativity in its many different forms, would not be able to flourish as broadly as it does. These differences are what allow humanity to advance. To be truly successful, people need to be comfortable in their own skins, and appreciate the differences of others. If you’re not as good as someone in a certain aspect, “Use it as motivation… but, don’t look at it negatively upon yourself if you’re not as good as someone else.” (Robert Dale, Class of ’05)

Dr. Dale looks forward to addressing St. George’s at the Senior School in the near future.