Growing up

15 Apr 2011

Boys’ and young men’s lives are shaped by powerful social and sexual relations, which limit their ability to form healthy relationships and to nurture their own and their sexual partners’ sexual and reproductive health. Typical social constructions of manhood and masculine sexuality inform males’ risk-taking behaviour, constrain their access to health services and thwart health promotion efforts. Such constructions increase the likelihood of boys’ and men’s participation in unplanned pregnancy, disease transmission, and sexual violence.

This paper outlines key aspects of the current ordering of young men’s sociosexual lives. I focus on practices, discourses and relations of gender and sexuality among boys and young men which shape their sexual behaviour, social interactions and sexual relationships. These patterns influence boys’ and young men’s involvements in a range of health issues, including contraception and pregnancy, bodily health, unsafe sex and disease transmission, violence, and sexual and familial relationships more broadly. Therefore, in order to understand both health-related behaviour and the possibilities for health promotion among young men, it is crucial to ‘map’ their social and sexual relations. It is to this exercise that I now turn, beginning with a brief explanation of the terms I use.

13 Nov 2010

sex+++

or

sexism+racism
+heterosexism
+capitalism?

[This is a modified version of a blog post, which I welcome you to comment at *here*. I hope it works fine here as a story.]

05 Feb 2010

Exposure to pornography is routine among children and young people, with a range of notable and often troubling effects. Particularly among younger children, exposure to pornography may be disturbing or upsetting. Exposure to pornography helps to sustain young people’s adherence to sexist and unhealthy notions of sex and relationships. And, especially among boys and young men who are frequent consumers of pornography, including of more violent materials, consumption intensifies attitudes supportive of sexual coercion and increases their likelihood of perpetrating assault. While children and young people are sexual beings and deserve age-appropriate materials on sex and sexuality, pornography is a poor, and indeed dangerous, sex educator.

12 Jan 2010

There is considerable debate over whether boys' education is shaped in significant ways by the sex of their teachers, and in particular, whether boys need male teachers. Here, XY presents a selection of key journal articles on this issue.

Also see this list of academic references on male teachers and male childcare workers: http://www.xyonline.net/content/iii-male-teachers-and-male-childcare-workers.

04 Jan 2010

Steve Biddulph’s bestseller on bringing up boys takes us on a trip back to the 19th century.

09 Oct 2009

Boys in the Picture (2000) is an advocacy document that stresses the importance of including boys in programming for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. This 32-page overview is in four languages. As it concludes, "Making a case for increasing attention to the health, development and wellbeing of adolescent boys and young men is necessary and timely. Increasing the attention to boys is a matter of gender equity and benefits accrue not only to adolescent boys and young men, but also to adolescent girls, women, children, men and communities."

08 Oct 2009

Violence has become a daily occurrence for some young men in Northern Ireland, according to a new report launched by the University of Ulster in June 2009.

And one in 10 teenagers admitted regularly carrying weapons, including knives, on the streets.

The report entitled ‘Stuck in the Middle’ was based on the opinions of 130 young men - aged between 13 and 16 - from different areas across Northern Ireland on their experiences of violence, conflict and safety.

07 Oct 2009

While reproductive health is a concern for all men of all ages, the earliest part of the life course—adolescence and early adulthood—is of utmost importance. Promoting the sexual and reproductive health of young men is a keystone to enhancing their health overall, to reducing some of the major health risks they face, and to establishing habits that will protect them throughout their lives.

04 Oct 2009

A short slideshow discussing the benefits of working on gender equitability earlier in a boy's life, before becoming a man.

03 Oct 2009

Gender equality has long been synonymous with women and their struggle for economic independence, equal pay, and equal power. It has also been a key principle in eliminating oppression and violence.

However, gender equality is about both men and women. Men spend less time together with their own children, are more prone to accidents, are over-represented in crime statistics, and drop out more often from upper secondary education. These examples indicate that men would have much to gain from true gender equality. Men are under-represented in the teaching professions in preschools and schools, in nursing and children's social services. At the same time, men still sit in the majority of positions of power in society and they still make more money than women. It is mainly men who are the perpetrators of domestic violence.

In recent years there have been positive changes in the role of males in society. It has been almost 20 years since the Committee on Male Roles in 1991 presented its recommendations. The Committee on Male Roles pointed out the following goals: the reallocation of power between women and men, more time for fathers to care for their own children both before and after a family breakup, reduced gender differences in choice of education and training and the prevention of men's violence against women; all of these were to be central goals for the future work towards gender equality. In several areas the development in the period has been positive. In particular, there is reason to look at the development in the home, and the increased contact between fathers and their children. In other areas, however, the development has been stagnant or negative. While women have entered previous male arenas in the working life, there has not been any increase in employment of men in the health and care giving sectors. In the education sector men constitute a smaller group today than 15 years ago. Consequently, there is reason to reiterate the goals stated by the committee.