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What about the guys? Young Men’s Invisibility in Sexual Risk and Sexual Health Research

Finally, someone gets it…

I realize this happened today, but it’s nice to see a poster like this for a change:

Presentation Title: What about the guys? Young men’s invisibility in sexual risk and sexual health research

**Co-sponsored by the LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution, York University

Elizabeth Saewyc, PhD, RN, CIHR/PHAC CIHR/PHAC Applied Public Health Chair in Youth Health; Associate Professor, University of British Columbia School of Nursing; Research Director, McCreary Centre Society

Much of the research on adolescent sexual health and risk behaviours focuses only on girls and young women, whether the studies are about teen births, contraceptive practices, or even sexual violence and exploitation. Yet most of these sexual health events involve more than one person—and that other person is often male. Even sexual violence, although disproportionately experienced by women, is also targeted towards boys and young men, and they too can experience lifelong health issues as a result. So why are they so invisible? This presentation will explore the ways data are gathered for population-level sexual health studies, how and perhaps why sexual health and risk issues get framed as “female” issues, and what we learn when we ask the same questions for adolescent and young adult males.

Dr. Elizabeth M. Saewyc is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She holds a Canadian Institute for Health Research/Public Health Agency of Canada Applied Public Health Chair, and is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. She also serves as Research Director for the McCreary Centre Society, a community-based youth health research and youth empowerment organization. She teaches public health nursing, adolescent health, and research methods. Her research focuses on the sexual and mental health issues of youth, with a particular emphasis on understanding the links between stigma, violence, and trauma, how these influence their coping and risk behaviours, and what protective factors in their relationships and environments can help reduce their risks and foster resilience. The particular groups of young people include: sexual minority youth (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens), homeless and runaway youth, sexually-abused and sexually-exploited teens, pregnant and parenting adolescents, youth in custody, immigrant and refugee populations, and indigenous young people in Canada and other countries.


Misandric commercial compares boys to “fish in a barrel”

March 10, 2008 – Today I saw one of the most despicable misandric commercials. It featured a 9 or 10 year old girl out to eat with her mother. By making eyes with a boy of similar age sitting further down the restaurant she is able to entice him to purchase for her an icecream. The commercial concludes with the girl saying “like shooting fish in a barrel.” Where do I start on this one? It takes female dependence on males from something in need of change to something to be encouraged. And it turns men – no, 9 year boys – into what I suppose many females end up identifying with men – wallets. It objectifies boys into “fish” in a barrel that can be controlled and exploited for personal gain.

Clubbing men ok?

June 25, 2008 – One of the most misandric popular television shows today is certainly The Simpsons. It’s portrayal of fathers is despicable. It’s differential treatment of the perfect Lisa versus the hopeless Bart is tiring. But here’s a side example. Ever seen the episode where baby Maggy is obsessed with Roofie, a Barnie knock off, and attends a concert of his. The babies stage a riot which the police break up by clubbing the babies. One of the officers says “I don’tfeel right clubbing women and children”. Presumably, clubbing defenseless and innocent men (it bears reminding that most men are defenseless and innocent) is acceptable? A trivial example possibly, but another little slice of media misandry.