Table of Contents: SPSMM Bulletin Deadlines:
January 31, April 30, October 31
Table of Contents:
SPSMM Bulletin Deadlines: January 31, April 30, October 31
Fredric E. Rabinowitz, Ph.D.
Although I have written other columns for the Bulletin in my role as Editor, this is my first in the honorable role of the President of Division 51. I would first like to share my deep felt appreciation of Past President John Robertson’s guidance, support, and wisdom in the transition in leadership. We in the division were fortunate to have an individual with his vision and follow through this past year. If you haven’t read John’s thoughtful and erudite Presidential columns, please go back and do so. Behind the scenes John provided a solid, helpful, and creative grounding to the decision-making process of the division’s board of directors. He maintained excellent relationships with APA staff, other division leaders, and our own membership. John, thank you for serving with full commitment. I hope to do the same.
I hope to continue the momentum that John created during his presidency. My goals for my Presidential year are as follows:
Psychological Practice Guidelines
Starting this summer, it is hoped that a group of individuals chosen from divisions 51, 17, 44, 45, 49, and 35 will be meeting in Washington, D.C. with APA’s education directorate staff to create a document that reflects the current research, theory, and practice of working with boys and men. This document, modeled after the developed psychological practice guidelines for girls and women, gay/lesbian/transgendered individuals, and ethnic minorities, will hopefully become a beacon of enlightenment to psychologists who teach, assess, and work therapeutically with boys and men. The work on this project will likely take several years, especially since it needs to make its way through the APA governance bodies for final approval. While this project has been discussed for several years, it has received needed funding and support during Ron Levant’s presidential year.
Increase visibility of Division 51 within APA and the Public
Often the work of our division goes unnoticed in an organization with over 50 divisions and in a public arena with huge media giants fighting for our attention. We are supporting several individuals in our division who are bringing men’s issues to the forefront. John Robertson and other division members will be consulting on a PBS Frontline Special called “Country Boys,” a documentary that follows the lives of young men battling poverty, drugs, and the harsh realities of life. Aaron Rochlen will be leading a Presidential plenary program at the 2005 APA Convention called “Men and Depression: New Perspectives in Practice, Health-care Promotion, and Research” with Clarissa Wittenberg, Director of “Real Men. Real Depression” advertising campaign and Daisy Whittemore, Special Assistant to the Director Office of Communications at the National Institute of Mental Health. The division’s Sam Cochran, Michael Addis, Mariola Magovcevic, and Ron Levant will also be contributing to the symposium. Michael Mobley recently received a grant from CODAPAR to fund the Cultural Diversity Forum on Men and Masculinities, a collaborative effort of division 51 and participating academic and practice oriented institutions to increase awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, skills and intervention strategies in understanding and serving culturally diverse (i.e., racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, religious/spiritual, SES, etc.) populations of boys and men.
Increase diversity membership in Division 51
Membership in APA and in division 51 has been decreasing in recent years. Many members of the division, Board members, and Vic Frazao, the membership chair, have made intriguing suggestions on how to increase membership for the long term. We need to keep our attention on these numbers because they represent our future. During my presidential year, I would like us to continue to increase our collaborations with other divisions that intersect the study of men and masculinity including but not limited to the divisions for ethnic minorities, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered individuals, women, adult development, counseling psychology, military, clinical psychology, etc. Partnering up on social justice committees, programming at the APA convention and midwinter conferences, and attending to each other’s work creates alliances that often result in membership in our respective divisions. Encouraging our students, colleagues, and friends to join Division 51 makes us stronger and more diverse. Email Vic (VicFrz@aol.com) if you have ideas about ways to increase membership. Vic may be asking each of us to email or call individuals who have expressed interest in our division, but who haven’t yet committed to our division.
Continue to make a relevant space within Division 51 for women members
Even though our division is called The Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity, much of the inspiration and support for our existence is based on the work of women who believed that men needed a division of their own. Roberta Nutt, Denise Twohey, Michele Harway, Holly Sweet, Louise Fitzgerald, Judith Logue, and others (please forgive me for not listing everyone) continue to make extensive contributions to our division through their input on the board, their scholarship, and their perspective s on working with men. This SPSMM Bulletin will mark the introduction of a column written by some of the women of division 51. A symposium at this year’s APA convention will address “Why women should care about men’s issues.” The diversity of the dialogue that women bring to the study of men and masculinity is significant. We as a division need to continue to support and care about the cross currents of gender, biology, psychology, and ideology. It is what makes the study of men and masculinity interesting and engaging for most of us.
Increase opportunities for student and newer members to get involved
The future of our division is at stake. Our students who are interested in men’s studies, working therapeutically with men, and/or researching our field need to feel like Division 51 wants them. In the past year, we have had three students appointed to the Board of Directors, Jennifer Lane, David Tager, and Bryant Smalley. They are also writing a column for the Bulletin expressing the student perspective to our membership. They are actively engaged in coming up with suggestions to raise student involvement in our division including the possibility of students becoming reviewers for the division’s journal, collaborating in SPSMM sponsored workshops on campuses with their advisors, and getting funding from the division to support travel to conferences and meetings. These are great ideas that need our consideration and support.
New members also need ways to get engaged beyond monitoring the list-serve, and reading the SPSMM Bulletin and Psychology of Men and Masculinity Journal. If you are a researcher, we want you to submit programs and manuscripts for the convention and journal. We are always in need of individuals willing to serve as liaisons to other divisions, to serve on division task forces, be reviewers for the convention programs, write articles for special sections of the SPSMM Bulletin, and to run for offices. There is much to give and take from our collaborative efforts. At the conventions, we encourage you to participate in our board meetings, attend programs, and make personal connections during our social hours and dinners. The fellowship is well worth the price of admission. Let me know if you want to get more involved so you can get hooked up with a group of individuals or a task that fits for you.
Celebrate our ten year anniversary as a division in APA
It’s been ten years since we became an APA division. More later on how we will celebrate a decade of SPSMM. Look for some special events at the American Psychological Association meeting this August.
Increase high quality submissions to our highly acclaimed journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity
Sam Cochran, PMM editor, announced recently that the journal has moved from two issues to four issues per year. Gary Vanden Bos, the publications editor at APA, reported that PMM is one of the top accessed journals that APA publishes. While this is great news and has led APA to support our journal going to four issues, it means that we need to step up our submissions. Sam and his associate editor, Don McCreary, supported by active consulting editors, have kept the journal at a high quality. We don’t want to lower quality in order to fill the journal. It means that those of us who are researching masculinity related themes, need to consider PMM as a primary destination for our work. An added intellectual and financial benefit to the increase in the number of issues published per year is that more libraries will start buying our journal for their collections.
All in all, it looks like a busy agenda. With everyone’s participation at whatever level of involvement works for you, we can keep Division 51 vital and relevant. I look forward to working with all of you this coming year.
One of the assignments in my Psychology of Men class is to conduct an in-depth interview with a man and write about the experience (thanks to Jim Mahalik for this idea). My 25 undergraduate students just completed this assignment and I thought it would be interesting to talk about the collective content of these reports. Several students chose to interview their fathers; several others, their boyfriends. One chose a man in his seventies. Except for this one and those who interviewed their fathers, the most typical participant was a man in his early to mid twenties. Of course, this was not a representative sample, or even a culturally diverse one. In fact, none of them chose to interview a gay man or a man of color. Still, their body of work highlighted (or should I say re-highlighted) some themes.
The overarching finding was that most men continue to carry masculinity as a non-conscious ideology. Often, the interviewees made remarks like, “I’ve never thought about what I like and don’t like about being a man.” Rather than thinking about themselves as men qua men, the tone was “I am a generic human being, and women are odd exceptions to that.” In other words, they were (I’m not sure if I’m coining this word; it’s not in my dictionary) prereflective about masculinity. They haven’t thought much about why masculinity exists or how it affects them. Note that the word prereflective (rather than unreflective, synonym clueless) is unabashedly optimistic, like the word preorgasmic. When asked to reflect, they began to do so and, not surprisingly, the older men tended to reflect in a somewhat more sophisticated way than the younger ones.
Many seemed to enjoy the self-assuredness of masculinity as a kind of closed system. They rarely had any formal or informal theories about why (perceived) sex differences exist. The flavor was, “men are just like that; that’s just the way it is.” And yet, consistent with the research, a large proportion of them stated that they were gender nonconforming in significant aspects of their lives. So, on the one hand, they said, “that’s the way men are.” And on the other hand, “but I’m different than most guys.” Over the years, I have discovered the Big Secret that most guys are different than most guys.
What do you like about being a man? The first responses were “here’s what I like about NOT being a woman.” A staggering number of interviewees mentioned menstruation and childbirth as experiences they are happy to have escaped. Given the antifeminine nature of cultural masculinity, this is not a surprise. And yet there was not much overt antifemininity in the rest of what they said. Perhaps they were being polite to the (mostly) female interviewers.
Their awareness of privilege was somewhat surprising. Most mentioned that, physically, they felt relatively safe compared with women, and most acknowledged that men held a significant advantage in the working world (keeping in mind that these were all White men). At the same time, most had the perception that men’s privilege was eroding, and there was a sense of entitlement connected to their advantageous social position. Rather than seeing workplace equality as a social justice issue, they were merely bemoaning the perceived loss of the upper hand in the working world and expressing a sort of resentment for it. As part of the anxiety surrounding what seemed to many of them like a threat from women, they expressed concern that a woman might falsely accuse them of sexual harassment or sexual assault, grossly overestimating the probability of these occurrences.
The homophobia was palpable. One man actually stated that everyone on TV is gay these days, citing Queer Eye and Will & Grace (I would have followed up with “Name four more” or even “Name ONE more”). He even read a book that suggested that the media is “pushing” homosexuality as a population control strategy! This seemed to me to be the cosmic convergence of confirmation bias and belief in a vast left wing conspiracy. The rest of the interview with this person had the same flavor, and I found myself getting angrier and angrier as I read it. It didn’t help that I started reading it in conjunction with my third cup of coffee.
I also noticed what they didn’t talk about. Only one man mentioned his penis, and very few talked about their male friends, girlfriends, or wives. There was a remarkable absence of self-in-relationship to others.
All in all, the stereotype content was fairly consistent with what we all know, and it affirmed to me that our work is remarkably important. All of these men experience the pressure to be masculine, and all of them feel that, at least at times, they want to step outside of the role. One significant aspect of our work is to help them name the cultural pressure that is masculinity -- to give them a language for symbolizing their experience. It is tremendously difficult to resist a pressure that one cannot name. When we give men the gift of gender-aware language, we change masculine conformity from the status of default option to that of informed choice.
I also want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my friend Loren Frankel, a Division 51 member who died in a tragic car accident in December. Loren and I had developed a mentoring relationship over the past several years, based on his desire to obtain a position similar to mine. He had just finished his doctorate and his first semester as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. I found him to be the quintessence of the Division 51 member – a scholar who combined his intellectual curiosity about gender with a gentle personality and a genuine concern for human beings. Loren was a true mensch, and I will miss him greatly.
As program chair for Division 51 for the 2005 APA Conference in Washington, DC, it is my honor to announce the schedule of programming. My hope is that all members find multiple programs of interest and plan to attend the conference in August. With Ronald Levant serving as APA President, there will be additional plenary, cross-cutting, and Presidential programming that should be of interest to members of Division 51. Be aware that APA has settled on a four-day conference format, meaning that all of the four days (Thursday-Sunday) are fully scheduled. Also, APA is experimenting with an additional Thursday evening time slot ( 7-9pm) as an additional opportunity for divisions to present programming. Division 51 will offer a symposium ( Conceptualizing Normative Male Sexuality---Moving Beyond Stereotypes ) during this time and it is hoped that members make an effort to attend.
Other events of note include an Invited Address by Anderson Franklin ( Working Effectively with Men of African Descent) on Friday between 4-4:50 pm, followed by the Division 51 Presidential Address to be given by Fredric Rabinowitz. The Fellows Address and Award Ceremony will be on Saturday at 3pm and feature new Fellows Mark A. Stevens ( What Matters to Me(n) and Why) and Martin Heesacker ( Mars, Venus, or Earth? Exaggeration of Sex Differences in Emotion).
The Division 51 dinner will be held Saturday evening following the social hour from 5-7pm.
The Conference hotel for the Divisional Events will be the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel.
As program chair, I wanted to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to the team of program reviewers from Division 51 that reviewed the submitted symposiums, workshops, and posters. Most of the review process occurred during the busy month of December and thus the time and energy to review was greatly appreciated. Division 51 program reviewers for the 2005 APA Convention were: Michael Addis, Larry Beer, Sam Cochran, Stefanie Greenberg, Michele Harway, Chris Kilmartin, Nicholas Larma, James Mahalik, James O’Neil, Fred Rabinowitz, Rory Remer, John Robertson, Cisco Sanchez, David Shepard, Andrew Smiler, Holly Sweet and Fox Vernon.
Finally, it is important to note that the listing below is provisional and that times and days can still change. The final Convention Program book should be used for the most accurate information for the conference.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18
Following are candidate statements for the upcoming Division 51 elections. It probably does not matter much, but your newsletter editor determined the order of the statements by the flip of a coin. Reverse alphabetical order won.
President of Division 51
Mark A. Stevens, Ph.D.
I am truly delighted and honored to be nominated to run for the presidency of SPSMM, Division 51 of the American Psychological Association. I have come to know and really value SPSMM through my experiences as the APA program chair, engaging in division strategic planning meetings, mid-year retreats, and designing the division bookmark. Division 51 is a unique and special organization within APA. We are both personal and political. Many of us have shared meals, cried together and collaborated with one another on books, articles, and presentations. SPSMM is dedicated to finding ways to improve the emotional and physical health of men and boys through our scholarship, teaching and clinical work. As a division we are trying to practice what we have come to understand are healthier ways to be men. We are supportive, inclusive, collaborative and less homophobic with one another. We have found ways to be less competitive and still quite strong and successful. It is for the above reasons that I have chosen Division 51 to be my professional home and will continue to finds ways to contribute to its mission and purpose.
My views on SPSMM. As a Division we are faced with wonderful opportunities and some fairly significant challenges. On the challenge side, we need more members. We have not found ways to adequately market the absolutely terrific resources (newsletter, journal and people) of our division. The Psychological Study of Men (and Boys) and Masculinity cuts across so many different divisions and groups within APA and other mental health fields and we can do a better job finding ways to network and collaborate with those groups. Bringing younger colleagues into the division is also essential. Whether as president or not, I would like to put significant energy into creating a mentoring program within our division. And a final challenge is continuing to make our division more diverse. We need to personally invite more women, men of color, men with physical disabilities, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered men to our table so we can share resources, break bread together and find better ways to study the psychology of men/boys and masculinities. On the opportunity side, our division is positioned to be more recognized than ever before. We have a history. We have connections and we have a solid reputation. APA president, Ron Levant (co-founder of Division 51) is more visible than ever before and by extension so is Division 51. Our members are publishing cutting edge information about the men and boys. The Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Men and Boys is gaining momentum and our central involvement in that project will put us on the map. I firmly believe we are a group of very talented, caring and dedicated men and women who want to make a difference and are ready to take the next step in our developmental process. If elected, my job as president will be to help keep our vision in focus, support our momentum and let as many people know how great our division is.
Professional Background . I have been the Coordinator of Internship Training at the University of Southern California Student Counseling Services for almost 20 years. I have been facilitating men’s therapy groups on college campuses since 1981 and was one of the editors of the first Handbook on Counseling and Psychotherapy with Men published by Sage in 1987. My professional and personal interest in men’s issues and psychology includes rape education and prevention work with college men and training therapists to counsel men. APA has recently published a two part video on Psychotherapy with Men where I am the featured therapist and discussant. Last year I was awarded the distinction of APA fellow and in 2003 was selected as the Practitioner of the Year by SPSMM.
I am honored, flattered, and humble to be considered for the presidency of Division 51. I am a charter member and am now prepared to give something back to an organization that has been tremendously important to my professional life.
My priority as Division 51 President would be to (continue to) put Division 51 on the map. The Psychology of Men and Masculinity has come of age, and we need to inform the mainstream of Psychology that we have something to offer to virtually every traditional subfield in the discipline. Too often, gender issues are at the margins of scientific analysis, and we would all benefit from placing them at the center of inquiry when indicated. To make progress toward this goal, we will need to boost our membership and our visibility. We should brainstorm some ideas to ride Ron Levant’s APA presidency to a new status within the larger organization.
A large part of what gave rise to the birth of gender psychology was the realization that gender roles are sometimes limiting and damaging. My position is that the negative aspects of traditional masculinity harm women and men, in that order. We must move the division forward by better addressing social justice issues: heterosexism, gender-based violence, racism, economic inequality, and sexism. Doing so will better balance our attention to the special problems of men with a commitment to acknowledging heterosexual White men’s power as-a-group and working to address quality of life issues for everyone. Privilege is a central feature of the psychology of men and masculinity. I would like to suggest that everyone consider joining Division 35 (Psychology of Women) in order to better build the bridges between men’s and women’s issues.
A few words about my background: I am a Professor of Psychology at The University of Mary Washington, author of The Masculine Self , a comprehensive men’s studies textbook (3 rd edition forthcoming, 2006), and of Sexual Assault in Context: Teaching College Men about Gender. Together with John Lynch, I wrote The Pain Behind the Mask: Overcoming Masculine Depression. I have visited over 130 college and university campuses to consult on gender education and sexual assault prevention for college men, and to perform my solo theatrical comedy on men’s issues, Crimes Against Nature. Currently, I am working on a new performance entitled Guy Fi: The Fictions that Rule Men’s Lives, set to debut in 2006. I have been involved in men’s studies since my graduate school days in the mid-1980s and look forward to the opportunity to serve in an organization in which I am a proud member.
LGBT Slate Division 51 Member at Large
David H. Whitcomb, Ph.D.
I am very pleased to be nominated for this position on the Board of SPSMM. My involvement with Division 51 has gradually increased since I started attending Division 51 events at APA a few years ago. Last year I wrote a column for the spring newsletter ( An Emerging Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Masculinity ) and recently I joined the Division. In parallel fashion, my research has increasingly focused on gender issues, including gay and bisexual men’s sexual decision-making and the intersection between stereotypes and self-perceptions of gay men and lesbian women’s gender-role presentation.
As an Assistant Professor of Counseling at the University of North Dakota, I have co-taught the Psychology of Women, Gender, and Development four times with Division 51 pioneer Denise Twohey. Currently I am chairing a dissertation investigating men’s motivation to seek psychotherapy.
Over the past several years I have been active in the Section for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Awareness within the Society of Counseling Psychology and will be transitioning from Chair to Past Chair this summer. I have also been active in Division 44 (for the psychological study of LGB issues) where I have been a Malyon-Smith Scholarship reviewer for two of the past three years. My experience in APA Divisional leadership would certainly be an asset on the Board of SPSMM. I would also bring to the board a good deal of enthusiasm, a commitment to collaborative governance, and perspectives on sexual minority gender issues that I believe will enrich the psychological study of men and masculinity. Thank you for your consideration.
Vote for David Whitcomb! Sorry to be so blunt, but I wanted to ensure that you got my message, even if you only read the first line of my statement.
The other two messages I would like to convey are similarly strong and brief. First, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the members of Division 51 and plan to remain active within the group. However, I am forced to prioritize things in my personal life at this time. Therefore, I do not feel as if I can provide the sort of service to the division that it deserves and that I think David can provide. This brings me to my other major point: I have spoken with David about the division, its current priorities, and his interests. I think he would make a wonderful member of the executive board. He has recently contributed to the division newsletter, participated in programs sponsored by the division, and is especially interested in continuing research on gender and sexual orientation issues. He is enthusiastic about serving and helping to guide Division 51. Obviously, I recommend that you give him your vote. I would also like to thank you for the support you have given me over the past two years.
Ethnic Minority Slate Division 51 Member at Large
I am honored to be nominated for a second term for the Ethnic Minority Slate within Division 51. I strongly support and advocate the mission and purpose of the Division. I have enjoyed my role, relationships, and responsibilities related to this position within the Division over the past 1 ½ years. My interests and commit in the area of men’s issues have primarily focused on the intersection of cultural identities including racial & ethnic and sexual orientation among men. I am delighted that the Division was successful in receiving a CODAPAR Interdivisional grant of $2,500 to sponsor the Cultural Diversity Forum on Men and Masculinities.
In regards to my professional background and training, I am currently an assistant professor (under tenure review) at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology. My primary areas of interest include Multicultural Counseling, Training, Competencies; Self-Empowerment Theory of Achievement among African American Adolescents, Perfectionism, and cultural identity development models related to ethnic, racial, and gay & lesbian individuals. I have taught at MU since 1997. I received my Ph.D. from Penn State University and completed my internship at the University of Maryland’s Counseling Center. My professional organizational experiences have included current Division 17, Counseling Psychology Newsletter Editor, and past Program Committee Reviewer, as well as Treasurer and Member-at-Large for Division 17 Section on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Awareness. Finally, I currently serve on the editorial board of the Psychology of Men & Masculinities and Journal of Career Development and I have served on editorial board for The Counseling Psychologist.
In conclusion, I am delighted to seek a second term as the Ethnic Minority Slate officer in Divison 51. If re-elected I would continue work diligently to assist in developing effective strategies and programs to increase representation of diversity. As a strong advocate of collaboration and consultation, I believe SPSMM and its leadership have made great strides in forging bridges with other Divisions. I applaud the accomplishments of SPSMM as growing influence within APA and psychology in general.
William Ming Liu, Ph.D.
I am honored to be nominated for Member-at-large for Division 51. It will be my privilege to serve as part of the leadership for the division. I would like to tell you a little about myself and why I would be a good candidate for the position.
Currently, I am an assistant professor of counseling psychology at the University of Iowa. I did my doctorate at the University of Maryland and my internship at the University of Southern California. I am a member of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 51, 45, 17), American Counseling Association, and the Asian American Psychological Association. My professional background activities include: recent past-treasurer for Division 45, program committee for Division 17, and program chair for the 2007 National Multicultural Summit and Conference. I serve on the editorial boards of The Counseling Psychologist, Psychology of Men and Masculinity, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, and the Clinicians Research Digest. I am also a co-editor of the Handbook of Multicultural Competencies in Counseling and Psychology (Sage, 2003). I have presented at national conferences, and published several articles and chapters focusing on multiculturalism and masculinity, Asian American masculinity, multicultural competencies, social class and classism, and the social class experiences of men. Recently, I participated in developing a Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) for men and substance abuse issues. My current research focuses on the social class experiences of men, especially men of color and those who are homeless and in poverty. My clinical interests include working with men and outreach activities to marginalized communities. For instance, I set up clinical services at a local homeless shelter to provide counseling in-house to residents.
I have not been as active and visible within Division 51 as I would have liked because for the past 4 years, my duties as treasurer for Division 45 conflicted with the men’s retreat and Division 51’s executive meetings. Because my term has ended with Division 45, I am very much looking forward to taking on leadership and other responsibilities with Division 51. As member-at-large for Division 51, I would like to continue bringing diverse views and opinions to the leadership. My relationships with several other divisions and associations will also help to nurture relationships and collaboration. From my previous experience of being treasurer, I can bring an intimate knowledge of division and APA governance activities, and how best to advocate for Division 51 in various formats and opportunities.
If given the privilege to serve as member-at-large, I will continue to advocate for the Division among our colleagues. I bring with me a commitment to mentor and advise students in the area of men’s issues, a willingness and openness to learn and collaborate, and an interest in seeing Division 51 grow in prominence and visibility. It will be my pleasure to serve the Division as member-at-large.
I am honored to be nominated for a third time to run for Treasurer.
Division 51 is very important to me and I am happy to be able to contribute. Keeping our financials in order is such a neat concrete task in the middle of the complications of the rest of my life that I really do enjoy it. At the same time, I am very aware of the needs of the division to involve new members so I would also welcome a vote for my opponent.
I am grateful to be nominated for the office of treasurer for Division 51. I am a relative newcomer to the division, but I have extensive experience in working with men’s issues in my practice as a psychologist. For almost 20 years I have specialized in treating men, particularly using group therapy. My interest and training in gender issues has informed my work as a psychologist in private practice since completing my doctoral work at The University of Texas at Austin
in 1986. I currently conduct four men’s psychotherapy groups, lead wilderness retreats for men, and provide specialized services to men who struggle with substance abuse, anger, and child custody problems. I also have extensive leadership experience in psychology. I have served as the secretary-treasurer, board member, and president of the Houston Psychological Association, and I have been a board member and president of the Texas Psychological Association as well. I understand the essential role of budgets and finances to every organization, and I would take an active role in managing our resources in a fiscally responsible manner. My major desire in running for this office is to get to know more of my colleagues who share similar interests. I would enjoy the opportunity of serving the division.
Holly Sweet, Ph.D., Special Editor
I usually get strange looks when I mention that my professional specialty is men’s studies. Some people ask me why I would want to study the other gender since I’m female (or “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”). Others have said that I’m wasting my time and should be focusing on women’s issues since women have more problems than men (lower pay, less power, more sexual harassment and trauma, etc.). Sometimes I question the reasons for my commitment to this field: Why am I studying men? Wouldn’t my time be better spent focusing on women? After all, aren’t they the ones with the “real” problems?
The truth is that after fifteen years of involvement in Division 51 (or its forerunner, the Study of Men and Masculinity), I am more convinced than ever that it is important for women to be involved in this division and in men’s studies in general. For too long psychology has separated gender issues into two camps: the psychology of women, and the psychology of men. Women study women, and men study men. Women’s issues are one thing, and men’s issues are another. The truth is that we are all part of a system of interlocking gender roles that create conflict, restriction, and loss of opportunity for both men and women, although in different ways. As women study men’s issues, it becomes clear to the public that there is a connection between the genders. As women understand more about male sex role strain, women will benefit in a number of ways personally and professionally. As women join Division 51, it becomes clear that women do belong in the field of the psychology of men.
When I looked around me at the last year’s APA convention, I realized that there were, in fact, relatively few women active in this division. We held an impromptu meeting about this subject both in Honolulu and in Kauai (Hey, we get tax deductions for those wonderful Princeville condos for having business meetings there, right?). The upshot was that it made sense to reach out to female members of Division 51, especially the newer members, and find out why they were involved in men’s issues. The result is a collection of statements from six women (four of whom are relatively new to this division) about why they are studying men and masculinity and how this interest has impacted their professional lives. I hope that we can continue to build on this base of interest. The more women are involved with men’s studies, the bigger and richer the field will be. The more we all understand how male norms impact both men and women, the greater the possibility of helping men and women move beyond traditional roles that limit us all.
I became a student affiliate of Division 51 in 2004. Currently, I am finishing my 3rd year of doctoral studies (Psy.D) at CSPP in San Diego. My interest in men's studies in particular, male sexuality, has evolved during the last 5-6 years. At the moment, I am contemplating dissertation topics: Potentially negative influence of Internet pornography on adolescent males, how Internet pornography, and secretive, solitary masturbation negatively impacts a marriage, or intimate relationship. Influences include: personal experience, clinical experience, a generalized societal perception of male sexuality, and the objectification of women ("The Centerfold Syndrome", Brooks, G.).
Doctoral Candidate, University of Missouri-Columbia, Department of Education, School and Counseling Psychology Student Member of APA Ph.D expected May 2006.
Dissertation: A qualitative study of the experiences of white males who mentor/supervise black males in organizational settings.
My interest in men’s lives dates back to my childhood and to my primary caregiver, my maternal grandfather. My grandfather was generally a man of few words except when it came to me. I was a curious child with many questions about the world around me including questions about my family’s origin. Sometimes he would answer my questions and other times he would help me to find the answer. He sat quietly for at least one hour everyday, when he did not take my questions. I once asked him what he did during that time and he said that he was reflecting. It seemed like such an interesting thing to do and so I began imitating him. Over time, it became my own practice. I am thankful that he helped me to discover the life of my mind.
During master’s training, I read Seasons of a Man’s Life and found it useful in understanding the family and career structures that men build. In 1998, I picked up and read I Don’t Want To Talk About It. It was a phenomenal experience in that it gave me a framework for understanding men’s experiences and management of emotions. I am also very interested in issues of power and men have a lot of it.
Influences: Dr. Glenn Good (University of Missouri-Columbia) noted my interest in men’s issues when I took his Advanced Counseling Theories course. I wrote and presented about men’s issues during the semester and expressed my enthusiasm for learning more. He invited me to collaborate on an article on men and therapy that was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Has your interest in men's studies and issues impacted your clinical and/or academic work and if so, in what ways? If you have been involved with men's issues for more than five years, has this impact changed at all from the time you first became involved with men's issues?
I decided to use my dissertation to better understand a facet of the experiences of the most powerful group of males: White males. Through qualitative interviews, I am exploring the relationships that White males have with Black males in the workplace. I hope that this work will contribute to improving workplace relationships and the retention and promotion of minority men.
Clinically, my interest in men’s studies has impacted how I conceptualize and treat male clients and how I assess their emotional functioning. This work has been challenging yet rewarding to suspend my gendered expectations about emotional expression and to learn about how men express emotion. I am also interested in continuing to address the issues of men of color with regard to the cultural competence of providers and other factors that inhibit their use of mental health services.
What do you perceive the role of women in Division 51 to be at the present time? What would you like it to be?
As I make my transition from student to professional, I hope to become involved and to build relationships in the Division.
Holly Sweet, Ph.D.
APAMember, Lecturer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge MA), Psychologist in Private Practice (Brookline MA), Co-Director, Cambridge Center for Gender Relations (Cambridge MA)
Dissertation Title: Perceptions of Undergraduate Male Experiences in Heterosexual Romantic Relationships: A Sex Role Norms Analysis
I was involved with the advent of feminism in the 60s both personally and academically but also felt that something was missing from the equation. Once I read The 49% Majority (David & Brannon), The Hazards of Being Male (Goldberg), and The Myth of Masculinity (Pleck), I realized the importance of looking at both men’s and women’ issues. I also realized that problems that men experience in trying to adhere to male sex role norms were not very visible, and that this invisibility was detrimental to both men and women. Since that time, I have been active in finding out more about the concept of male sex role strain and encouraging students and clients (where appropriate) to consider the implication of male norms, especially in the area of emotional restriction, for men’s mental health as well as their relationships with women.
Influences: I was first introduced to SPSMM by Louise Silverstein whom I met at an APA workshop in 1990 on “Teaching the Psychology of Women.” She and I talked at length about the growing need for more focus on men’s issues and introduced me to Jim O’Neil (whose research I used in my dissertation). After that, I began attending meetings of the SPSMM members during the annual APA conventions and met many wonderful people who continued to stimulate my interest in men’s issues – in particular Sam Cochran and Fred Rabinowitz, whose research and writing in the area of men and depression was of special interest to me in my clinical work.
How has your interest in men’s issues impacted your clinical/academic work?
I taught my first sex roles class in 1978 – at the time, it was mostly focused on women’s issues, with a small section on men’s studies. Once I began to do reading in the area of men’s studies in the early 80s, I shifted the focus of my class to include much more material on men’s issues, and in doing so, became much more involved with the field of men’s studies. In the current course I teach at MIT (Composing a Life: Exploration of Self Through Photography, Art, and Writing), I spend time on helping students see how gender norms affect their behavior and experiences, especially the male students who often don’t initially see how being male has anything to do with who they are and how they act. In terms of my clinical work, I am much more likely to educate clients about men’s issues (including referring them to books and articles on men’s issues) and recognize the impact of sex role norms on men in terms of their problems (particularly depression which so often goes under-reported, under-diagnosed, and therefore not properly treated. Recently I have become quite interested in helping female clients understand how male sex role norms impact the men with whom they relate (including partners, fathers, and sons).
What is the role of women in Division 51?
I think women can best serve the division by helping the general public understand the importance of learning more about men’s issues and how gender roles form a system that can trap both men and women into behavior and attitudes which are confining and unhealthy. I also think it’s important for political reasons to have a number of women involved in Division 51 so that it is clear that women support the work done in this division. I would like to see more connection with Division 35 in general and think that women in Division 51 can assist with this process.
Denise Twohey, University of North Dakota
Dissertation Topic: Women and Depression (1987)
I became interested in men’s studies because I thought it would be a good way to meet men. Secondly, I developed and taught a class on women’s issue’s at the University of North Dakota. The third reason was a friend of mine from graduate school dragged me along to a meeting at APA before Division 51 was even a division. I liked it and have been attending ever since.
Influences: Bill Pollack (with whom I used to present every year at APA), and Larry Beer who was the friend from college who got me involved.
Has your interest in men's studies and issues impacted your clinical and/or academic work and if so, in what ways?
I've become more and more interested in issues from the perspective of the man. For example, take the issue of rape. Before I only saw it one way--from the "victim's" perspective. Now I see that there can be more than one "victim" in a dysfunctional relationship.
If you have been involved with men's issues for more than five years, has this impact changed at all from the time you first became involved with men's issues?
At first, I was only in it to meet men. Then I met some, who were more screwed up than I was (married, etc.). So then I got cancer and found out how really great a group of men can be.
What do you perceive the role of women in Division 51 to be at the present time?
I think that's a very individual issue. I would like to thank Larry Beer for inviting me to meet his friends; they are some really great guys!
Judy (Felton) Logue, Ph.D.
Private Practice and Faculty/Training/Supervising Psychoanalyst, Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy of NJ (IPPNJ) and Southern NJ Psychoanalytic Institute (SNJPI), APA member
Dissertation topic: Exclusivity in Women: A Research Study of Attitudes Toward Extrarelationship Involvement.
All my life, as far back as I can remember, the issues of gender have interested me.
Influences: My psychoanalytic teachers in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Has your interest in men's studies and issues impacted your clinical and/or academic work and if so, in what ways? If you have been involved with men's issues for more than five years, has this impact changed at all from the time you first became involved with men's issues?
Yes, of course. I am a therapist and analyst in practice for four decades. Anything that enlightens about boys and men affects me and my work. Certainly the changes in gender relations in the past four decades affects how I think, feel, and work. I am more attuned and understanding of how boys and men think and feel, and why they act as they do, than when I began in my field(s).
What do you perceive the role of women in Division 51 to be at the present time?
I do not know, since I am a relatively new member, in the last several years. I am open to ideas and suggestions, especially from those women who have been in the Division longer than I have. I certainly am an advocate for more and deeper understanding of gender relations and the best relationships and understanding possible between/among the genders (transgenders, etc.).
Stefanie Teri Greenberg, M.A.
Counseling Psychology Doctoral Student, First Year, The University of Iowa, graduate assistantship: Women's Resource & Action Center, Group Services Coordinator, APA Graduate Student Affiliate
My interest in men’s studies sparked while earning my Master of Marriage and Family at University of Southern California (USC), working as a Learning Specialist with scholastically at-risk, high-level male student-athletes from precarious environments. I became fascinated by their masculinity scripts (e.g., “tough-guy script” defense to their survival and ego and “winner script” toward athletics). To better meet my students’ needs, I then devised a measure on male student-athlete’s academic integration. Thus, my applied work inspired me to understand male gender role socialization as the literature outlines it. My professor Ruth Chung, Ph.D. further encouraged my interest when she loaned me Levant and Pollack’s work, A New Psychology of Men, which grabbed my interest in male gender role conflict and introduced me to leading champions in this field.
Has your interest in men's studies and issues impacted your clinical and/or academic work and if so, in what ways?
My interest in men’s studies and issues has impacted my clinical work by helping me understand how as a woman my values, internalized gender role stereotypes, and countertransference impact my work. This insight has helped me better conceptualize the backgrounds, behaviors, and presenting issues of the males I have worked with (e.g., the student-athletes) as well as understand the role men play(ed) in the women’s lives I currently work with at the Women’s Resource and Action Center. Essentially, my interest in men’s studies and issues has most impacted my academic work during doctoral study thus far. Specifically, joining the men’s research team offers me opportunities to conduct research in this field and present at conferences, chiefly related to men, depression, barriers to racial/ethnic minority boys, and men and masculinity as multicultural competency. Additionally, my interest in men’s studies evolves through my work as Ad-hoc manuscript reviewer for Psychology of Men and Masculinity, program reviewer for 2005 APA Conference for Division 51, and Editorial Associate for the Clinician’s Research Digest.
What do you perceive the role of women in Division 51 to be at the present time? What would you like it to be?
I believe women offer a diverse voice, outlook, and experience, making us assets to Division 51. I appreciate when women share their voice over the division’s listserv, especially given I notice far more men posting messages. I would like to see more women actively pursuing scholarship on men’s studies. Typically, I observe men and women studying their respective genders and I would like to see men and women bridge this seeming dichotomy by taking interest in studying the opposite gender. If we maintain mutual goals between genders, such as moving toward a more gender-sensitive society, then we ought to explore our gendered lives through various lenses.
Other comments: As a newbie to the field, I am honored to be able to share my thoughts, reflections, and insights. I appreciate this forum to track my development and consider ways I would like to see Division 51 evolve and develop. I am an aspiring academic and hope I can contribute to men’s studies in due time. Thank you.
The injury occurred about 7 years ago. At first I experienced an inability to control my hand. This episode gave way to minor shaking incidents and an inability to stop rubbing my nose, until at the urging of a friend, I consulted with my physician. After many, many tests they settled on a temporary diagnosis of brain tumor and the “minor shaking incidents” were labeled seizures.
My physician referred me to a local neurosurgeon; from there I went directly to Mayo. At Mayo, they did not want to predict doom and gloom, but they did not want raise my hopes either. The diagnosis of brain tumor was confirmed. I was in shock.
First I had to prepare for treatment. This preparation meant working with a local speech therapist and then a speech therapist at Mayo so they could learn how I spoke. They were preparing me for a surgery during which I would be awake. It sounds worse than it was. A similar surgery was documented on 60 Minutes, ( 4/7/2002). The worst part of the treatment was that they wanted to get me home in time for the holidays. So ready or not, I was released from Mayo Clinic on December 23 rd, 1998. I was not ready to be released, but I could not tell them that because I could not express myself verbally. Anyway, they did not want to hear it. They all wanted to go home for the holidays also. One less patient would considerably lighten their load.
So after a 7 hour drive from Rochester, MN to Grand Forks, ND, 7-8 days of hospitalization (I could not walk or talk) I was airlifted back to Mayo just in time for New Years Eve. There I experienced a second surgery to bring in the New Year. I was allowed to stay on Mayo’s Rehab unit for 6 weeks, before I reluctantly left for unknown pastures.
The recovery seemed interminable. And in fact, it was. I'm not saying I didn't get better. For example, for about one whole year, I could not walk or talk. As far as walking, I was in a wheelchair for 3 months, then I had many and varied casts. As far as talking, I could respond with a “yes” or “no” so the burden was on the receiver as to what to ask.
Now, let me list all the rehabilitation centers that housed me. The first was Mayo, where the powers that were, allowed me to for stay six weeks because I was hooked up to this Intra-Venous (IV) machine. The nurses called the machine my dancing partner. I couldn't tell them (because I couldn’t talk) but I had experienced much more handsome dancing partners in the past. I attended a total of five other rehabilitation institutions including, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Marionjoy Rehab Center, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation (although there was nothing joyful or free in either of these facilities), and Altru Clinic.
Making Sense out of the Senseless
In her book called “What Psychotherapists Should Know About Disability”, Olkin describes the minority model of disability, which she contrasts with the moral and medical models. Like Olkin (1999) I subscribe to the minority model. In using herself as an example, Oklin differentiates between impairment, disability, and handicap. She informs us that her impairments are polio and post polio syndrome. She identifies her disability as “partial leg paralysis, limp, fatigue, muscle weakness, and joint pain”. She adds that her handicaps are “stairs, inaccessible bathrooms, buses without lifts, icy sidewalks, unavailability of appropriate shoes, the high cost of scooters, and so on”, clearly differentiating between her physical condition and society’s response, or lack thereof. I truly identify with what Olkin has to say about impairments, disabilities, and handicaps; although there are some overlaps, ours are not exactly the same.
For comfort, I have read various personal accounts of disability such as: Over my head: A doctor’s own story of traumatic brain injury from the inside looking out (Osborn, 1998); A whole new life (Price, 1982); and Where is the mango princess? (Crimmins, 2000). Each of these has instilled a sense of hope and also much needed humor.
Gender Issues: Men
Okay--what's all this got to do with boys and men? How would a typical man (if there is such an animal) have handled the tumor differently? First, I must admit that I am not a man, so my answers will be very tentative. Second, my philosophy is post-modern, which to me means that the sense I/you make out of things is actually the sense itself. So with those two caveats in mind I will proceed.
Dr. Ron Levant tells us in his often cited works (Levant, 1995; Pollack & Levant, 1998), that men have difficulty in admitting the existence of a problem. Further, men generally have problems in seeking help. These two factors have many consequences for health.
First, imagine my situation from a masculine perspective. I am not sure that it would have gone any differently, but let us suppose that I waited just a month longer before contacting my physician. And that month was crucial to my life. It could have been!
Because women are expected to outlive men, they are likely to spend a longer period of time coping with disability (Jenkins, 2003). Also it is important that many women are caregivers to men in coping with disability, but women often do not get the same treatment from men. Their husbands or significant others are not around to offer help when they need it. Older women often live alone, and sometimes do not drive, which reduces their access to care-giving resources. Additionally, many disabled women lack funds to save for their retirement (Jenkins, 2003).
The women who have worked outside of the home during their lifetimes have often earned less which results in lower Social Security benefits. For all my years as a disabled woman, I have spent countless hours filling out insurance forms and more time with this meaningless paperwork than on rehabilitation, teaching, or anything else. For example, the rules about Medicare differ between North Dakota and Minnesota, so every time I go back to the Mayo Clinic for a check-up, I have to pay extra-depending on whether the procedure was performed in their hospital or clinic. Once I even had to write to my Congressperson to get the matter cleared up. The next day the matter was taken care of.
Despite legislation, studies continue to show that, the higher the level of disability, the lower the employment status and income. Lastly, being a disabled female, coupled with decreased educational level, consistently shows significance in predicting lower employment and income than disabled men or non-minorities ( Randolph, 2004). This is sad. What can be done?
Gender and Disability Intertwined
I definitely think Dr. Levant would agree with Dr. Olkin’s minority model of disability. For sure he would understand the differences she points out between the physical condition and society’s response. This is the basis of his whole social constructionist theory. Let me put it another way. I have an impairment which is a brain tumor. My disabilities are weakness on the right side. My handicaps are inability to drive and the dependence on public transportation, inability to teach (although I know the subject matter in my head, I can not get it out fast enough to satisfy our ever-hungry students), my handicaps are the actual speech impediments and right side motion inhibitions. This is social construction because I have told you how to categorize these words. On your own, you might arrange them differently.
From personal experience in the various rehabilitation hospitals where I have lived, I have noticed that the majority of patients are women. What their financial circumstances might be, I would not know. However, I suspect they are not making as much money as they used to.
What I do know is that any disability is sad. But it can be hopeful too. For example, I would not have had the time to write this article if I were still teaching full-time. I hope to do some part-time work on disability, and this article has helped, so thanks for reading it!
Crimmins, C. (2000). Where is the mango princess? New York: Knopf.
Jenkins, C.L.(2003). Widows and divorcees in later life. Journal of Women & Aging. 15 (2- 3), p.1-6.
Levant , R. F. (1995). Masculinity reconstructed. New York: Dutton.
Olkin, R. (1999). What psychotherapists should know about disability. New York: Guilford.
Osborn, C. L. (1998). Over my head: A doctor’s own story of traumatic brain injury from the inside
Pollack, W. S., & Levant, R. F. (Eds., 1998). New psychotherapy for men. New York: Wiley.
Randolph, D. S. (2004). Predicting the effect of disability on employment status and income. Journal of Prevention ,
Price, E. (1994). A whole new life. New York: Scribner.
Sixty Minutes ( 04/07/2002). A new lease on life, Parts 1 & 2. CBS Video: VHS.
Disability and the Social Construction of Masculinity
In the Introduction to Men’s Lives, Kimmel (2001) describes masculinity in terms of a “social constructionist” perspective:
Sociologist Erving Goffman describes Western society’s male gender script in the following way:
So, Kimmel encourages a broader view of masculinity through the inclusion of other socio-cultural factors. Goffman reminds us that there is a standard model imposing itself on every man (and perhaps also on every woman’s perception of men).
There are a variety of ways in which each man differs from this standard, and I would argue that some differences have more impact than others. In particular, men with disabilities (especially visible physical ones) face the most striking pressures because their demographic qualities are in a sense the most distant from the standard.
Although no man can completely mirror Goffman’s model, it is demonstrative of how physical and mental potency are hallmarks of masculine identity. Physical or mental disability thus becomes a prominent mitigation of hegemonic masculinity, insofar as it creates a quite tangible barrier to mirroring the benchmark posed by Goffman. Interesting too is Goffman’s neglecting to mention ability in his description of the masculine standard. Could it be that able-bodiedness is assumed by his model, not worth mentioning due to this assumption? McEwan (1996) asserts that “abilities and disabilities should be understood as socially constructed experiences that are historically mediated,” referring to the changing views of disability over time. She goes on to discuss the relationship between the conception an individual with a disability has of that disability, and the view another person has of it. In each interaction, such a relationship manifests itself in a form that will support or challenge these views. The stage of development (e.g. level of acceptance of traditional stereotypes by all parties concerned) will influence identity formation.
Gerschick and Miller (1994) conducted one of the very few studies of the convergence of masculinity and disability identities. They interviewed ten men who had physical disabilities. Their focus was on how these men navigate gender identity in light of being disabled. The authors were able to identify three responses men with disabilities may have to this standard. They are: Reliance, or adoption of the hegemonic standard; Rejection of the standard; and Reformulation, or a modified conception of masculinity which incorporates a more favorable view of disability. Several combinations of the three responses were observed in the subjects. Other then describing the phenomena, no conclusions were drawn about the likelihood of particular responses occurring. Instead, further study was recommended regarding how and why gender identity varies for men with disabilities.
The authors discuss how for men with [visible] physical disabilities, male gender privilege is mitigated or eroded by the stigmatized status of disability. It would follow that, to some extent, people with non-visible disabilities possess a degree of privilege in their option to choose to be identified. If this is true, it would be interesting to explore politics within the disability community about hierarchies of privilege and oppression.
There is still very little literature available about masculinities and disabilities. Dr. Lawrence Berg of Okanagan University College in Canada is heading a research project to generate additional material. Dr. Thomas Gerschick of Illinois State University continues to be the foremost scholar in this area.
Gerschick, T. & Miller, A. (1994). Coming to terms: Masculinity and physical disability. Masculinities, 2 (1).
McEwen, M. (1996). New Perspectives on Identity Development. In Komives, S. & Woodard, D.
Messner, M. & Kimmel, M. (Eds.) (2001). Men’s Lives. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
At APA 2004, we were impressed by the quality and variety of research being done by our fellow graduate students. As a kind of preview to APA 2005, we decided to highlight some of the current graduate student research on men, boys and masculinity. What follows is an all too brief summary of the handful of projects we were able to identify by the newsletter deadline. It has been refreshing to hear from colleagues we didn’t know we had in Australia, Texas, Arizona, Oregon and New York. Many of those who responded to our call, though, were from the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri, and Nova Southeastern University, where three of our Division 51 student representatives are doing doctoral work. We believe that there are many other worthy projects underway at this moment, and we invite all readers of this column to make sure we hear about current research in the field in time for the next newsletter. Our aim is to inform the Division 51 community, increase participation in the Division, and broaden the dialogue about issues related to masculine gender socialization.
As many of us would hope, there appears to be a strong wave of multicultural work on males gathering at the horizon. For example, Greg Alfred and David Goode-Cross at the University of Missouri are collaborating with Dr. Kevin Cokley on a theoretical manuscript that examines hazing in black fraternities. The authors are looking at black constructions of masculinity within the context of the dominant culture, and focus on aspects such as heterosexism, the historic physicalization of black men, “Cool Pose” and the need for respect. On the same campus, Allyson Brathwaite is doing a qualitative study on the challenges faced by white males in negotiating race and cultural differences while mentoring black males in organizational settings. One goal of her study is to provide lessons for future cross-cultural mentoring relationships.
A research team at the University of Iowa, under the direction of Dr. William Liu is also contributing to the multicultural wave by exploring the experiences of gifted and talented (GT) racial ethnic boys. Their work includes empirical research into the relations between GT boys and their experiences with bullying, academic achievement, and physical health. The Iowa team is also working on a theoretical examination of race, racism and academic achievement among GT boys.
News of other interesting work on boys comes from Queensland, Australia where Clive Williams is delving into the classic relationship of boys to cars. His project explores gender-related beliefs and car theft by male adolescents.
Gathering currents in Western U.S. include University of Oregon’s Dave Miller, who is doing a qualitative study of the experience of men in non-traditional occupations; Jason Frizzell at Texas Tech, who is looking into how both men’s and women’s attitudes about male sexual behavior may be sexist; and Jason Laker, who splits his time between the University of Arizona, where he will shortly receive his doctorate, and St. John’s University where he is Dean of Campus Life. Jason has been focusing on the socialization of new professionals in Student Affairs and has found that they hold a predominantly punitive/judicial outlook of male students.
Back in the Midwest, the current of research into men and depression continues to gather force at the University of Iowa. Their research team is working under supervision of Dr. Sam Cochran to explore the construct of masked depression and is comparing data on clinically depressed men with data from a normative sample. Another Iowa eddy of research comes from Division 51 student representative Nick Larma, who is examining treatment non-adherence in men with erectile dysfunction. David Tager, also a student representative, from the University of Missouri, works under the supervision of Dr. Glenn Good, and is currently collecting data on body image, past bullying, alcohol consumption, psychological well-being and attitudes toward masculinity.
A group of students at Nova Southeastern University has also been collaborating on a body of work on men and masculinity led by Division 51 co-founder and current APA President Dr. Ronald Levant. Division 51 student representative K. Bryant Smalley and fellow students Maryse Aupont, Tanner House, Kate Richmond, and Delilah Noronha are wrapping up a validation of the revised Male Role Norms Inventory. In collaboration with Glenn Good and Stephen Cook, K. Bryant Smalley, Karen Owen and Kate Richmond are working on the validation of the Normative Male Alexithymia Scale. Bryant is also working on the validation of the Adolescent version of the Male Role Norms Inventory in an international sample drawn with the assistance of Neil McMillan in Scotland. Students Kate Richmond, Jessica Parker, Micaela Mercado, and K. Bryant Smalley are conducting a follow-up and re-evaluation of the relationship between father involvement, time spent in childcare, and behavior patterns among preschool children that received so much attention following the widely publicized 2000 NICHD daycare study.
We find this small sample of research to be exciting in its variety and direction. In the future, we hope to spotlight other graduate students who are busily straining their ears at taped conversations, tearing their hair out over data, blearing their sight late into the night, all in the hopes of plucking some gem of wisdom to increase our understanding of the psychology of boys and men.
The Role of Advocacy: Changing Lives and the Masculine Culture
Nicholas C. Larma, B.A.
K. Bryant Smalley, M.S.
(Note: Both authors are Student Representatives of Division 51)
Laura Bush's recent initiative to focus national attention on the improvement of educational experiences for boys and prevention of their involvement in criminal activity is a victory for those of us who have focused our professional careers and personal lives on the lives of boys and men. Identifying issues such as these can serve to catalyze political and professional efforts. Learning from the women's movement over the last century, particularly first and second wave feminism, progress is galvanized by the organization around a central issue: women's suffrage, fertility rights. Although criminal involvement and the disenfranchisement from education are two issues that highlight the toxic culture of masculinity, progress may be inherently undermined when the culture of masculinity is not also a central focus in our efforts to affect change.
Women's suffrage and fertility rights were two problems identified by the women's movement during times of change within the feminine culture. In other words, changes in values and beliefs by early feminists gave rise to identification of the specific means by which women were oppressed, including restriction of citizenship and fertility rights. The challenge with current masculine movements is that identification of problem areas (e.g., education experiences and criminal involvement) is not necessarily a product of changes within the masculine culture. Masculine movements are less focused on evolving the values and beliefs that mold the many ways in which men are presently disadvantaged, instead nearly solely focusing attention on the resulting outcome - the problem areas themselves. Consequently, efforts to improve educational experiences or diminish criminal involvement for boys may inherently be undermined when the masculine culture that has shaped these problems remains intact. Instead, a dual approach that addresses both the masculine culture and the identified problem areas must be equally considered when taking action.
Education on college campuses to raise awareness about and prevent sexual misconduct is an example of the need for this dual approach. Change cannot fully take place when beliefs against sexual violence are in competition with the more toxic traditionally masculine culture. In other words, acquiring allies in victim advocacy and prevention of sexual misconduct is undermined when men return to the locker rooms, fraternities, and other environments that reinforce traditional roles, values, and norms that allow misogyny and sexual aggression against women to be a punch line and not something to be detested. Thus, our advocacy efforts must not only attempt to improve and advance a given issue, but in so doing also directly challenge the values and beliefs of the masculine culture itself.
We also undermine our efforts when we simplify this discourse by working under the assumption that because men historically served as a primary opponent of women's advancements, women's sociopolitical advancements hinder progress for men. This myopic perspective is divisive and only confuses the problem because progress for either gender is not mutually exclusive. By identifying the many ways women have advanced themselves in the past century as evidence for how we have ignored the problems facing men, energy is wasted that could otherwise be placed on advocating for positive changes within the masculine culture and the many ways it negatively affects boys and men. The largest opponent to positive change for men is men. We will only truly achieve advancements when we evolve the values and beliefs of men. Moreover, we must also improve our understanding of the intersection of masculinity with other cultural factors, including social class, race/ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, and so forth. Gaining a more profound understanding of this fusion of multiple cultural factors enhances our ability to affect positive, enduring change for a greater diversity of boys and men.
Although Laura Bush has identified two problem areas facing boys, there exists a variety of other issues that require attention. Men's health is one such issue. Men lag behind women in help-seeking, health-positive behavior, treatment adherence, and mortality rates. For example, the life expectancy for men was seven years less than that of women in 1990, when only one year separated the genders as recent as 1920. Men also have higher mortality rates than women for each of the ten leading causes of death. Despite these facts, data suggest that in comparison to women, men engage less frequently in health-promoting behaviors, seek medical and psychological treatment less often, and are less likely to adhere to treatment plans after seeking professional help. Responding to these problems facing men, the House of Representatives in 2001 attempted to pass HR 632, a bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish an Office of Men's Health. This bill was voted down and despite talk that a similar bill would appear in the Senate, it does not appear one has yet been proposed. The issues raised in this article are only a few of the many issues that may be addressed through advocacy.
Other such issues include expanding paternity rights, including paternity leaves; increasing the number of men's studies programs in colleges and universities; a greater inclusion of racial/ethnic minority experience in conceptualizing the masculine culture; and more research on men.
As psychologists, we promote change in our clients. However, we do not often see the full potential of promoting change, through advocacy, in the lives of others with which we have never met. We have a duty and an obligation as professionals to become advocates for mental health and other relevant issues with the goal of affecting change within the masculine culture and in the lives of others within our local communities, in our states, and throughout the country and world. Membership in local, state, and national organizations provides each of us a unique opportunity to network with other psychologists and psychologists-in-training, and partner together to support and sponsor public policy changes.
Most community and state organizations have committees or other sub-structures devoted to advocacy, and APA has an entire division devoted to advocacy. To promote the values of Division 51, we do not have to rely on participation in external advocacy efforts alone. Within Division 51, we can create our own agenda, advocating for legislation and public policy to reflect the current understanding of men and masculinity. This agenda can be taken into each of our local communities and states to expand the breadth of our Division's reach well beyond that which we have already achieved - impacting the lives of countless more boys and men.
Participate in SPSMM-L, the listserv for SPSMM members. It is a place to share current psychology of men and masculinity news, as well as updates regarding organizational aspects of SPSMM. If you have access to the Internet, you can subscribe to SPSMM-L at no cost. Send your request to email@example.com Andrew Smiler, Ph.D.
The Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity (SPSMM) promotes the critical study of how gender shapes and constricts men’s lives, and is committed to an enhancement of men’s capacity to experience their full human potential. SPSMM endeavors to erode constraining definitions of masculinity which historically have inhibited men’s development, their capacity to form meaningful relationships, and have contributed to the oppression of other people. SPSMM acknowledges its historical debt to feminist-inspired scholarship on gender, and commits itself to the support of groups such as women, gays, lesbians and peoples of color that have been uniquely oppressed by the gender/class/race system. SPSMM vigorously contends that the empowerment of all persons beyond narrow and restrictive gender role definitions leads to the highest level of functioning in individual women and men, to the most healthy interactions between the genders, and to the richest relationships between them.
APA Membership Status:
Member/Fellow Associate Member
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SPSMM Membership Status Desired:
Member (Psychology Doctorate, APA Member/Fellow) • $25
Associate Member (Associate Member of APA) • $25
Student Affiliate (Student Affiliate of APA) • $5
Affiliate (Interested in SPSMM & Non-APA Member) • $25
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Make check payable to
Division 51, SPSMM. Send application & check to Division 51
Administrative Office, American Psychological Association,
SPSMM provides book reviews for members to learn about the latest books in the field. Currently, book reviews are published in the SPSMM Bulletin because page space in the Division’s journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity (PMM) is at a premium with priority being placed on publishing manuscripts. This policy could be revisited once additional pages are allocated to PMM.
Persons interested in reviewing books or having their books reviewed in the Bulletin should contact the SPSMM Book Review Editor. The SPSMM Bulletin Book Editor will exercise his or her discretion as to which book will be reviewed in any given issue based on his or her judgment about the interests of the membership and mission of SPSMM. The current SPSMM Book Review Editor is Dr. Jay Wade, Department of Psychology, Fordham University, Dealy Hall, 441 E. Fordham Rd., Bronx, NY 10458.
Book reviewers must assert in writing that they do not have a conflict of interest or personal relationship that would interfere with providing an objective review. The Book Review Editor will select reviewers in response to an author’s request, and the author will provide a copy of the book to the Book Review Editor.
The Division’s Cookbook is
ready for release and people are raving about it. In the words of Sam
Cochran, “This is a spectacular collection of recipes and stories, truly distinctive in the world of cookbooks .
. . I will treasure this book for many years to come. After all, in what
other cookbook will you find Lenore Walker’s Holiday Turkey, David Lisak’s
inspirational recipe for red chile sauce, Murry Scher’s ‘best blueberry
muffins in the world’ recipe, Ron Levant’s couscous-stuffed green pepper
recipe, or David Rose’s Teppanyaki Pancake recipe (yum). All the recipes in the book are clearly ‘family
favorites’ that are conveyed with a loving and charming sense of personal
history. This is a cookbook that everyone must own!” The Division’s
Cookbook is now available by sending a $20 check to Larry Beer at Child
and Family Psychological Services, 5380 Holiday Terrace,