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The cultures of cool and being a man : getting in early to prevent domestic violence Towns, Alison

By: Towns, Alison.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Wellington, [N.Z.] 2009Description: 30cm; 155p.; computer file : PDF format (451Kb).ISBN: 9780478323771 (Print); 9780478323764 (Online).Subject(s): PREVENTION | RECOMMENDED READING | ATTITUDES | DOMESTIC VIOLENCE | INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS | INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE | MASCULINITY | PRIMARY PREVENTION | PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE | SOCIAL ASPECTS | SOCIAL CONTROL | VALUES | YOUNG PEOPLE | NEW ZEALANDDDC classification: 362.8292 Online resources: Click here to access online Summary: This research report presents the findings of the second part of a qualitative research project which explored young women's and men's experiences of jealousy and ownership in relationships and which aims to develop early domestic violence prevention strategies based on an understanding of these relationships. The underlying thesis of the project is that men's violence towards women is preventable. The first report from the project entitled "The culture of cool : getting in early to prevent domestic violence" examined young women's ownership experiences in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. This, the second report, explores young men's ideas about control, power and equality in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships and the social and cultural values and beliefs that contribute to these ideas. The controlling behaviours towards girlfriends that young men described in this study appear to be informed by contemporary cultural influences associated with what it is to be a man in New Zealand today. In particular the report identifies notions of 'being the man', the binge drinking/boy racer culture and the gangster culture as influences that produce control. The controlling practices used by the young men in the study are consistent with those described by young women who had experienced such practices by boyfriends in the first part of this study (Towns & Scott, 2008). They involve monitoring and limiting their choices, controlling the girlfriend's contacts, controlling her dress, isolating her and using dominance and entitlement practices including violence. The young men provided a sophisticated understanding of control, recognising that control was fluid for young men, changing depending on the context rather than static and consistent. Some young men described such control as informed by historical or traditional ideas about women's roles and women's status compared to that of men. Some young men described control as simply pragmatic and designed to limit the potential for other men to take their girlfriend away. The author posits that by identifying the social and cultural values and beliefs that inform ownership practices we increase the possibilities for preventing men's violence towards women. This is done by bringing the language, values and beliefs that support ownership practices out of the unspoken realm and into conscious awareness. If young people are more informed about these practices they will be more able to resist them in their own relationships. The practices of dominance and entitlement that emerge from social and cultural pressures can no longer be considered "natural" or "just the way things are" for men and women. Young people's actions in relationships become informed conscious choices. The report concludes by making specific recommendations including: 1) that the prevention of youth boyfriend/girlfriend violence is recognised as a priority for the prevention of men's domestic violence towards women; 2) the Ministry of Social Development open up the It's Not Okay campaign to young people and work towards the prevention of domestic violence by getting in early with young people; 3) workforce development is put in place for those who engage in health promotion and social and community development with a view to integrating the promotion of young people's emotionally healthy, ethical and democratic relationships with the promotion of healthy lifestyle decisions associated with sexual practices, masculine identities and use of alcohol and other drugs; 4) training for trainee youth practitioners in health and youth development about the ways social and cultural influences can impact on young men's ideas about control in relationships and about alternative egalitarian relationships; and 5) that further research is conducted on the ways in which to get in early with young people and effectively reduce men's domestic violence towards women.
Item type Current location Call number Copy number Status Date due Barcode
Access online Access online Online Available ON13020179
Report Report TRO 362.8292 TOW Available FV11120775
Report Report TRO 362.8292 TOW Print Available A00715204B

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This research report presents the findings of the second part of a qualitative research project which explored young women's and men's experiences of jealousy and ownership in relationships and which aims to develop early domestic violence prevention strategies based on an understanding of these relationships. The underlying thesis of the project is that men's violence towards women is preventable. The first report from the project entitled "The culture of cool : getting in early to prevent domestic violence" examined young women's ownership experiences in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. This, the second report, explores young men's ideas about control, power and equality in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships and the social and cultural values and beliefs that contribute to these ideas. The controlling behaviours towards girlfriends that young men described in this study appear to be informed by contemporary cultural influences associated with what it is to be a man in New Zealand today. In particular the report identifies notions of 'being the man', the binge drinking/boy racer culture and the gangster culture as influences that produce control. The controlling practices used by the young men in the study are consistent with those described by young women who had experienced such practices by boyfriends in the first part of this study (Towns & Scott, 2008). They involve monitoring and limiting their choices, controlling the girlfriend's contacts, controlling her dress, isolating her and using dominance and entitlement practices including violence. The young men provided a sophisticated understanding of control, recognising that control was fluid for young men, changing depending on the context rather than static and consistent. Some young men described such control as informed by historical or traditional ideas about women's roles and women's status compared to that of men. Some young men described control as simply pragmatic and designed to limit the potential for other men to take their girlfriend away. The author posits that by identifying the social and cultural values and beliefs that inform ownership practices we increase the possibilities for preventing men's violence towards women. This is done by bringing the language, values and beliefs that support ownership practices out of the unspoken realm and into conscious awareness. If young people are more informed about these practices they will be more able to resist them in their own relationships. The practices of dominance and entitlement that emerge from social and cultural pressures can no longer be considered "natural" or "just the way things are" for men and women. Young people's actions in relationships become informed conscious choices. The report concludes by making specific recommendations including: 1) that the prevention of youth boyfriend/girlfriend violence is recognised as a priority for the prevention of men's domestic violence towards women; 2) the Ministry of Social Development open up the It's Not Okay campaign to young people and work towards the prevention of domestic violence by getting in early with young people; 3) workforce development is put in place for those who engage in health promotion and social and community development with a view to integrating the promotion of young people's emotionally healthy, ethical and democratic relationships with the promotion of healthy lifestyle decisions associated with sexual practices, masculine identities and use of alcohol and other drugs; 4) training for trainee youth practitioners in health and youth development about the ways social and cultural influences can impact on young men's ideas about control in relationships and about alternative egalitarian relationships; and 5) that further research is conducted on the ways in which to get in early with young people and effectively reduce men's domestic violence towards women.

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