College Men’s Health Crisis Examples A young man in pain Floating the river College party after big win
Presentation Goals Increase awareness Learn about male socialization Learn strategies to enhance men’s health
My Personal Hope By increasing your awareness and concern for men’s health We can persuade colleges to increase action Adaptation of strategic plan
My Personal Goals Change the norms of college men Change how we socialize boys.
Presentation Overview College men’s health issues Research results: Barriers Male socialization process Strategies working with men What universities can do Discussion, Q & A, and closing
Reflections on Masculinity Masculinity- like women’s body image ideals Unobtainable Unhealthy Most men unaware of the effects of masculinity on their lives
Man Quiz 1. Do you try to stop yourself from crying when seeing a sad movie? 2. Do you have difficulty asking for help? 3. Do you postpone dealing with medical/emotional concerns?
What Are the Expectations Placed on College Men?
Expectations of College Men Alcohol/drug use Have sex Find what their good at Be independent Be competitive & successful Don’t let them see you sweat
College Men’s Health Risks Men, in comparison to college women: Greater # of high risk behaviors Greater alcohol & substance abuse M ore frequent conduct issues Aggression including sexual assault Greater suicide risk
College Men’s Health Risks Despite all these concerns: MEN UNDERUTILIZE SERVICES (Courtenay, 1998)
The Men’s Health Crisis: How Serious Is It? Men’s life expectancy 4-7 years less than women Males commit 6 of 7 suicides for ages 15-24 20% of women are sexually assaulted 95% of perpetrators are males Men are also survivors of sexual abuse
Men’s Health Crisis: How Serious is it? While most men are not violent, most acts of violence are committed by men Most all campus shootings committed by men Men perpetrate most global terrorism
College Men’s Health Fail to adopt health promoting behavior Engage in high risk behavior Conceal vulnerability
College Men’s Health Perceive self as invulnerable Lack health knowledge (Courtenay, 1998)
Male Socialization Early emotionality Shaming of dependency Discouraged help seeking
Male Socialization Suppression of emotion Unrealistic ideal of masculinity Lifelong impact on men’s health
Socialization Towards Violence Rape culture glamorizes male sexual behavior Are men angry toward women? Why? Dependency?
Socialization Towards Violence Rewarded for aggression Anger only acceptable emotion Males as initiators of sex
UO Health Study Davies, et.al, 2000 Focus groups with male students GBTQ men Men of Color Fraternity men Rec center & residence halls
College Men’s Reported Health Concerns Alcohol/ drug use Self-esteem Relationships Depression
Men’s Health Concerns Body image Stress/anger management Grief and loss Racism/homophobia
Key Findings Men able to identify concerns But unlikely to act upon them Primary barrier: Appearing weak Feeling shame for seeking help Seeing provider is last option \
Men’s Recommendations Disguise help seeking Offer health classes Offer phone services Create a men’s center
UO Men’s Center History Founded in 2002 Student supported Collaborative effort
MCA Goals Help men lead healthy lives. Reduce violence To make how we live our lives as men, a conscious choice
Programs MenSkills and health classes. Break the Cycle, 100 Men March Leadership in Fraternal Organizations /
Men’s Center Approach (Davies, Shen-Miller & Isacco, 2010) Therapeutic opportunities in non therapy settings. Safe, supportive atmosphere Respect for diversity
MCA Key Components Strategic use of planning process Working from the inside out Sharing power Commitment to social justice
MenSkills Curriculum Understanding effects of masculinity Stress & anger management Reflecting on choices
Example: MenSkills Strategic use of the planning process Sharing power Respecting their diversity
Example: MenSkills Working from the inside out Social justice
MenSkills Class Who do you want to be in future Steps to reach your goals Overcoming barriers
Possible Masculinities Who men want to be in future What campus communities need from men Davies, Shen-Miller, & Isacco, 2010
How Do We Redefine Masculinity? Helping men define who they want to become Communicating what our campus needs from men
What Does Our Campus Communities Need From Men?
What Attributes Should We Reinforce in College Men? We want college men to be as free as possible to choose how they want to be as men. Awareness of effects of being men Openness to seeking help. Collaboration rather than competition Interdependence
Attributes Continued Express emotions constructively Create/maintain healthy relationships. Communicate about sex Use power and privilege to promote social justice Contribute to a “Culture of Respect”
Creating Programming Congruent With Culture of Men Reach out to men Involve men in planning process Utilize non shaming approaches Focus on positive behavior
Creating Programming Congruent With Culture of Men Model openness & vulnerability Involve men in facilitation process Utilize male peers
Creating programming congruent with culture of men Provide opportunities to reciprocate Work from the inside out
What Providers Can Do Become familiar with men’s issues Provide a safe environment Be a positive role model
What Providers Can Do Remember all men don’t share your conceptualization of masculinity Assume men may come in only once.
What Providers Can Do Reassure men for seeking help Assume men exhausted other resources Assume men may be survivors of sexual or physical abuse, or intimate partner violence
What Providers Can Do Assume men may not be heterosexual Assume men of color & GBTQ men may worry about your ability to understand and accept them
What Providers Can Do Reward healthy coping Pay attention to depression, suicide & violence risk, alcohol/drug abuse & other unhealthy coping strategies Address discomfort seeking help
What Providers Can Do Create opportunities to reciprocate Share power Encourage positive self- help coping strategies Tell men when to return
What Providers Can Do to Prevent Sexual Assault Be positive role models Show up, Stand up, Speak out Invite powerful men speak out
What Universities Can Do: Developing a Plan to Address College Men’s Health Crisis Recognizing the problem Establishing clear goals Who & what do we want college men to be? Possible Masculinities
Strategic Plan Developing services and programs congruent with the culture of men Enhancing existing services Reaching out to men who are not seeking services Evaluating our efforts
A Success Story 19 year old male, referred to Men’s Skills for conduct issues. Successfully attended class Sought counseling and advising
A Success Story Began volunteering for UOMC Sexual assault prevention Graduated, employed, in a relationship.
Concluding Remarks When provided safety and respect, men are open to change We know how to help men Working together we can help men lead healthy lives
Closing Thought “We need to promote masculine ideals that encourage men to lead healthy lives and use their power and privilege to promote social justice while striving to create a “culture of respect” (Davies, 2014).
Questions, Comments? For further information contact: Jon Davies jon@PossibleMasculinities.com
References Courtenay, W.,(1998). College men’s health: An overview and call to action. Journal of American College Health, 46, 279- 290. Davies, J., Miller, D.S. & Isacco, A.,(2010). The men’s center approach to addressing the health crisis of college men. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Vol 41, No. 4, 347-354.
References Davies, J., McCrae, B., Frank, J., Dochnahl, A., Pickering, T., Harrison, B., Zakrzewski, M., Wilson, K., (2000) Identifying male college student perceived health needs, barriers to seeking help and recommendations to help men adopt healthier lifestyles. Journal of American College Health.;48(6).