VUMC Pioneers Research on Benefits of Male Validation
By Adaora Dike
A new research initiative examining the potential of male validation as a treatment enhancing psychological and physical wellbeing brings VUMC to the bleeding edge of evidence-based alternative medicine. If successful, it will completely transform the landscape of the field.
Principal Investigator Dr. Frida Nipp, M.D. Ph.D, wasn’t intending to upend an entire medical discipline when she first stumbled upon this question.
“I was actually having a terrible day,” Nipp said. “I spilled coffee all over my favorite shirt, ate shit on a busy sidewalk in front of tons of people, and a student asked if I was sick because I had no makeup on.”
Everything changed when her moderately attractive male colleague caught her in the midst of an emergency doomscroll, laughing at an image captioned “me and who” of two cats snuggled up together.
“He told me, ‘Your smile is so gorgeous,’ and all of a sudden my sinuses cleared,” Nipp said. “I felt so light. I swear I even had a pimple disappear.”
Intrigued by her lived observation, Nipp founded the Disease-Annihilating Male Notice lab (DAMN). As an avowed feminist, she was hesitant to fully embrace the unconventional treatment at first.
“I’ve read Friedan, Butler and basically every article there is on the male gaze,” Nipp said. “But the data we’re getting doesn’t lie. It’s incredible what explicit recognition that you are, in fact, a pretty girl can do for the body.”
The DAMN lab tested its hypothesis in multiple experiments, one of which involved a house-party simulation in which a decently handsome male lab technician was tasked with glancing down at a participant’s cleavage, then making eye contact while saying, “Wow, you’re beautiful.”
Significant improvements were seen in surveys measuring mental and physical wellbeing before and after the treatment, even when repeated with increasingly less attractive men. Improvements were also noted in full blood panels of each subject.
The new treatment is not without its critics. Vanderbilt medical student Bea Suss cautioned regulators and physicians against being too hasty in writing prescriptions.
“It could be the opioid crisis all over again,” Suss said. “They’re all saying it’s a natural alternative with no side effects, but I know personally that male validation is dependence forming. Except instead of withdrawal tremors, you just get crippling self-esteem problems.”
One final roadblock remains for the applicability of the treatment. Researchers found that on some segments of the female population, their groundbreaking new treatment was shockingly resistant.
“Subjects with this result typically have close female friendships, sometimes involving physical embraces and cohabitation,” lab assistant Beau Hett said. “We have yet to determine the root cause of this phenomenon which is something our team will be exploring as we go forward.”
Nipp said she’s pushing her team hard to investigate any lingering concerns and remains determined to show the world that the key to uplifting women everywhere is male validation.
“Women’s healthcare is still plagued with stigma and discrimination,” Nipp said. “My mission is to help women feel seen. Literally and figuratively.”