In 2006, the Rogers Park Young Womens Action Team (YWAT) launched a campaign to engage young men as allies in addressing violence against girls. The YWAT, a youth-led and adult-supported social change project, conducted a participatory action research project that included the creation of a film called Real Talk (in collaboration with Beyondmedia Education), survey research, and a set of popular education workshops. In addition, the YWAT organized and implemented a two-day train the trainer workshop for fifteen young men ages 14-22 in November 2007.
'Because I am a Girl: The State of the World’s Girls 2011 - So, what about boys?' is the fifth in a series of annual reports published by Plan examining the rights of girls throughout their childhood, adolescence and as young women.
The report shows that far from being an issue just for women and girls, gender is also about boys and men, and that this needs to be better understood if we are going to have a positive impact on societies and economies.
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.
[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.]
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.
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.
Steve Biddulph’s bestseller on bringing up boys takes us on a trip back to the 19th century.
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."
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.
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.