Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need an organization for men? - Don't they already receive benefits from the privilege of being men?
The need for focusing on men’s development becomes clear as one looks at both national and college trends. Research clearly illustrates that men are disproportionately represented in campus judicial cases, outnumber women in virtually every alcohol abuse statistic, are more often the victims of violence in every category except sexual assault, disproportionately cause community disturbances related to “hate crimes” and bigotry. In addition, suicide is also the third leading cause of death among males age 15–24 and boys kill themselves four times the rate of young women. Moreover, not only does it appear that college men are at risk, male perpetration of sexual assault, dating violence, and other anti-social behavior associated with patriarchal culture directly harms women.
We’ve assumed for too long that our theories and research have already told us everything we need to know about men and masculinity. While it’s true that most of our original psychological and other human development theories were essentially based on middle to upper-class men, generally of European descent, we have onlyrecently begun to explore men as men. That is, professionals working with men need to better understand how men become men and the influence of hegemonic masculinity on identity development. Moreover, we wanted to develop a space where educators and researchers interested in men’s development could focus their efforts in promoting quality scholarship and a place where educators and student affairs professionals could go for consultation, service, and the most promising practices in promoting men’s development. We fundamentally believe that ignoring the influence that sex role socialization has on men’s development undermines educational effectiveness with male students and serves to reify systematic patriarchy.