men, masculinities and gender politics

Authors

Michael Flood

The harms of pornography exposure among children and young people

Categories:

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.

'Fathers' rights' and the defence of paternal authority in Australia

Feminism’s achievements regarding violence against women are a key target for the fathers’ rights movement. This article provides an overview of the impact of the fathers’ rights movement on men’s violence against women. It documents the ways in which fathers’ rights groups in Australia have influenced changes in family law, which privilege parental contact over safety, particularly through moves toward a presumption of children’s joint residence. They have attempted to discredit female victims of violence, to wind back the legal protections available to victims and the sanctions imposed on perpetrators, and to undermine services for the victims of men’s violence.

Respectful Relationships Education: Violence prevention and respectful relationships education in Victorian secondary schools

This report offers a comprehensive overview of best practice in violence prevention education in schools, identifying five principles of best practice. It maps promising programs around Australia and internationally. And it offers directions for advancing the field. The report is relevant beyond this, however, offering indicators of effective practice in violence prevention education which are relevant for a variety of settings and populations.

Some sections of the report focus in particular on issues of interest for those working with men and boys in violence prevention, such as the teaching methods to use and the content to address (pp. 36-43), whether to have mixed-sex or single-sex classes (pp. 47-50), whether curricula should be delivered by teachers or community educators or peers (pp. 52-53), and whether the sex of the educator makes a difference (pp. 53-54).

Note that I have also included the text of a seminar which summarises the report, titled "Advancing the field", and the Powerpoint which goes along with this.

 

Secrets and Lies: Responding to attacks on domestic violence campaigns (2006)

Contemporary campaigns and programs addressing men’s violence against women are under sustained attack. They are subject to repeated, hostile criticism by anti-feminist men and men’s networks. Any organisation which publicly addresses violence against women finds itself under a barrage of e-mails and letters, while any forum which sympathetically addresses the issue is swamped by hostile responses. Here, I address the claims which are the standard fare of anti-feminist men’s attacks on domestic violence efforts.

Lust, Trust and Latex: Why young heterosexual men do not use condoms (2003)

Categories:

This paper examines young heterosexual men’s participation in unsafe sex. A qualitative study of young heterosexual Australian men’s understandings and practices of safe and unsafe sex, involving in-depth interviews conducted with 17 men aged between 18 and 26, found that five principal themes recur in young men’s accounts for the non-use of condoms.

Men’s positive roles in ending violence against women

Men have a positive role to play in helping to end violence against women. Growing numbers of men have come to the realisation that violence against women is an issue that touches their lives in deeply personal ways. And it’s a social problem they can do something about.

Building Cultures of Respect and Non-Violence: A Review of Literature Concerning Adult Learning and Violence Prevention Programs with Men (2008)

This 48-page report provides a detailed review of effective practice in violence prevention education among men, drawing on literature on both adult education and violence prevention. It focuses in particular on efforts among male athletes in professional sporting and other settings, as well as those using ‘peer mentor’ approaches.

Sport, athletes, and violence against women

Allegations of sexual assault and harassment by rugby league and Australian Football League (AFL) players in 2004 and 2005 put the link between sport and violence against women firmly on the public agenda. There was widespread media coverage of the allegations and substantial community debate. In response to these allegations and the issues surrounding them, both rugby league and AFL codes initiated education programs among their players.

Violence Against Women is a Men's Issue

Most men know that domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong, but we have done little to reduce this violence in our lives, families and communities. Too many men believe common myths about violence, have ignored women's fears and concerns about their safety, and have stayed silent in the face of other men's violence-supportive attitudes and behaviours. At the same time, a growing number of men in Australia are taking public action to help end violence against women.

What's wrong with fathers' rights?

Twenty years ago I joined my first anti-sexist men’s group. I’ve had a passionate commitment to profeminism ever since, nurtured through men’s anti-violence activism, Women’s and Gender Studies, editing a profeminist magazine, and now pursuing a career in feminist scholarship. Men’s violence against women is an obvious area for anti-sexist men’s activism, as it’s one of the bluntest and most brutal forms of gender inequality. I’ve organised campaigns in groups like Men Against Sexual Assault, run workshops in schools, helped run a national White Ribbon Campaign, designed violence prevention programs for athletes and others, and done research and writing on violence against women. But I’ve also been forced to critique and confront anti-feminist men in ‘men’s rights’ and ‘fathers’ rights’ groups. Their efforts are having a growing influence on community understandings of, and policy responses to, gender issues.