Of Microwaves and Masculinities
As I started to ponder this question, she continued. “I have a recommendation for you. Most men don’t notice the fingerprints they leave behind, so you shouldn’t choose stainless. And white is more feminine. I think you need a nice black one; it would look very masculine in your office, don’t you think?”
Really? Do I leave fingerprints on stainless steel because I’m a man? Would I be more feminine if I chose white? How does she know these things? And more to the point, why does she think this bit of information will help be buy the right microwave?
How do any of us know the answers to these daily and somewhat trivial questions? Or, to enlarge the question, how do any of us know anything about the major issues our culture is facing this year—concerns that go far beyond the choice of a microwave. Consider the issues that are being discussed in the Presidential primaries: how this country got into a war and how to get out of it, whether or not to provide health care to all, whether or not we can widen our definition of marriage to include persons of the same sex, how to reign in corporate mismanagement, what to do about manufacturing job losses, and much more. None of these issues can be fully addressed without some awareness of gender—particularly the ways in which men are socialized to think, to feel, and to act.
It is my view that members of our Division have something to say about the gender implications of these issues—from the more mundane (perhaps) questions about the colors of microwaves to the more complex issues that mix color, ethnicity, and sexuality with masculinity. These matters take enormous time and effort to understand. The stakes are high, and well documented. Compared with women, men have higher rates of completed suicides, higher rates of serious injuries, and higher death rates from nearly all the leading causes of death. They continue to engage in violence against each other, against women, and against other cultures. Surely, the voices of our division’s members need to be present in the nation’s discussions of these issues.
Division 51’s first president was Ronald Levant, who is now president-elect of the American Psychological Association. He has announced that he will be supporting activities that make psychology a “household word” in our society. My hope is that part that thrust will include an increased awareness of the contributions of members of our division. Some of those contributions are more formal, some are more personal, and some expand our understanding of the multicultural dimensions of masculinity.
I’d like to acknowledge the forums in our division where members are making contributions. The results of these efforts can be found in refereed journals of the American Psychological Association, our own Psychology of Men and Masculinity journal, papers and symposia presented annual at the APA convention, and in the many books available. Results can also be seen in the consultation rooms of therapists who work with men, and who have read the work of contributors to The New Handbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy Approaches for Men (Brooks & Good, 2000). Our division may be small compared to others in APA (only 6 divisions have fewer members), but the hundreds of men and women in our division are highly active in research and practice activities.
Our division’s journal, Psychology of Men and Masculinity, has quickly developed a reputation of being a publication of the highest quality. Founding editor David Lisak and current editor Sam Cochran have been able to assemble a highly skilled set of reviewers to make sure that the research we publish reaches the highest standards in our field.
We also see the results in the programming that is presented in the annual convention. This year, David Shepard is functioning as the Program Committee Chair, and has organized all the parts of our convention program—the symposia, papers, workshops, poster, discussions, and addresses. Please be sure to scan the program listing elsewhere in this issue of the Bulletin. I want to strongly encourage all our members (and especially graduate students) to join us in Hawaii for five days of highly stimulating presentations, and for numerous opportunities to participate in informal conversations about issues of mutual interest.
The Midwinter Retreat, held this year in Kansas City, is a day-long opportunity to explore masculinity from a personal perspective. The retreat has a long tradition of providing men with an opportunity to connect at a very deep and personal level with other men who share similar views about the development of masculinity. For many years, this event has been coordinated by Mike Andronico and Gary Brooks, who have shared their considerable experience and skills in working with groups of men. This year, Fred Rabinowitz had agreed to join Mike in planning the experience. I’ve seen a preview of their plans, and I can assure you that the Midwinter Retreat will be well worth attending.
2004 marks the 9th year in our division’s history. An august group of men have made significant personal contributions to our division. Some of them have preceded me in this post of president: Ron Levant, Gary Brooks, Glenn Good, Mark Kiselica, Mike Andronico, James Dean, Sam Cochran, and Corey Habben. It is a daunting list. They have all made personal contributions to the welfare of our young and developing division. These men have been highly involved in our profession—writing articles and books, developing public policy statements, providing assistance to soldiers in uniform, mentoring graduate students on university campuses, and in providing therapy to individuals, couples, and groups. I applaud their contributions. I feel honored to take my turn in encouraging the consideration of gender in various settings.
One consequence is that is more useful to think of masculinity in its plural form—masculinities. There is not one masculinity, even among those who share the mission of our division. It seems appropriate that our division give increased consideration to ways of making many voices of masculinity heard—voices shaped by the diverse influences that exist in this multicultural country. Some specific ideas along these lines will be addressed at the Midwinter Board meeting, and I will be offering some additional thoughts in the next Bulletin.
I want to encourage our division to think about ways in which we can stimulate more research, offer more public presentations, and develop more focused helping strategies (psychotherapy, consultation, coaching, mentoring) for boys and men of color and for homosexual men. Following our Board meeting, I plan to talk more about some initiatives along these lines in our listserv and in this column.
Both microwaves and masculinities
come in many colors. Stayed tuned.
Cochran, S. V. (2002). Including the visibility of our spirit, strengths, resources. SPSMM Bulletin, Volume 7(2), p., 1.
Sports and SPSMM
Fred Rabinowitz, Ph.D.
When I read the paper or watch ESPN I am struck by how distant my version of sports is to the corporate reality of college and professional sports. To be a division 1 college athlete or professional player earning millions of dollars is a totally distinct experience that has not much bearing to my love of playing. The recent uncovering of yet another scandal at the University of Colorado around recruiting and accusations of rape reveals a dark side to athletics. Gifted athletes need to be seduced by the mythic visions of parties and sex so that a particular college or university can sport a winning team. The rationale is that a winning team will bring money to the university through ticket sales, television contracts, and alumni giving. The athlete is merely a pawn in a larger game. Exploiting young men’s masculine egos is a means to an end. The athlete is promised the spoils of being an alpha male, which includes access to women, drugs, and VIP treatment. Little does he know that the only reason they sell him on the masculine power myth is because it benefits those in real power who make profits off of his effort.
When the system is exposed, the pawns are the first to be accused, followed by the coaches and those that used the system to do their jobs. The athletes, who thought that strippers and alcohol were the rewards for their athletic prowess, find that when they take liberties with women not being paid by the system, they are rightfully accused of rape and sexual assault. They have been tricked into believing that being a sexual stud was a part of the masculine identity they have earned from their prized value as an athlete. It doesn’t help that beer companies such as Coors create fantasies of partying in the Rockies with beautiful big-busted women in their commercials while splicing scenes of football and cheerleaders around their product. If I was a young man who had been anointed the king of men for my strength and athletic skills, I too might expect the spoils. Like it or not, the athlete is the role model for many young men who emulate these created heroes. Those who identify with the male superstar athlete also learn to expect the entitlements, inappropriately objectifying women and narcissistically elevating their own status.
I wish playing sports in our country was only about getting in shape, finding a healthy cathartic release for built up tension, and cultivating friendship. Unfortunately, this isn’t the vision of sports for Corporate America (C.A.). Most couch potatoes and male television watchers are the targets of C.A.’s concerted effort to relate sex and sports to sell its products. The Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity, with its emphasis on promoting healthy masculinity is David against this corporate Goliath. We represent a vision of masculinity that values relational connection not objectification. We believe men are acceptable in all their varieties, colors, and sexual preferences. Many of our members are at ground zero of this battle, finding in-roads to talk to students and athletes at the college and professional levels about being a man, relating to women, and seeing through the corporate cultural myth of male privilege. Many SPSMMers go into the middle school, high school, college, and professional sports environments to educate boys, men, and male athletes for their own good and the good of the people with whom they come in contact.
Our work in this division is a small but powerful antidote to Corporate America’s dosing of sexism to sell its products. For all those in the division who teach, write, protest, counsel, research, father, mother, and stand up in their everyday lives to make a difference for the boys and men of our world and in the process the girls and women, this column is for you! Let’s continue to actively support each other in the Promethean effort to make this world a better place for all of us.
Candidates for Division 51 Offices (2004 elections)
President (choose 1)
APA Council Representative (choose 1)
At Large (choose 2)
Secretary (choose 1)
I am excited about the opportunity to continue our line of outstanding individuals who have been president of Division 51. I have the two qualities that I think our division needs in a president. If elected I will bring both a good sense of business and a strong appreciation of family to the position.
As a business person I started a small group practice in 1989. In spite of these tough economic times for mental health practitioners, my business has grown steadily and now includes 20 clinicians. I believe our division needs to function more effectively as a business in order to grow and thrive. In order to do this we will need to first and foremost increase our membership. We know what a great division we have in terms of scholarship, programming and camaraderie. We need to invite others to be a part of what draws us to SPSMM. If elected, I will direct extra attention to membership issues since membership is the best source of both energy and funds for the division. I would see to it that our membership committee is composed of dedicated and well-connected individuals within APA who can increase our membership base in both number and diversity.
What has really drawn me to this division, though, is the sense of
family I feel within it. The greatest meaning in my life comes from
family. Within our divisional family I have been able to get to know
and enjoy so many of you. While I would pursue the business aspects
of our division aggressively, I would also insure that the intimacy
we share with each other continues to grow. I have been able to keep
the dual focus of business and personal connection within my group practice,
and I think I can replicate that within our division. One of our division’s
most cherished programs is the men’s dialogue we hold annually
during midwinter. It creates a true connection between those who attend.
We need to find opportunities to have a similar dialogue during APA’s
annual convention so that those who can’t make it to Midwinter
can enjoy this great experience. Further, we need to bring back respectful
inter-gender dialogues and gay-straight dialogues during our convention
in addition to the excellent programming we have every year. In closing,
it is quite an honor to be asked to run for President of our division.
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.
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.
A few words about my background: I am a Professor of Psychology at
Mary Washington College, author of The Masculine Self , a comprehensive
men’s studies textbook, 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
100 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. 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.
APA Council Representative Statements
I would like to focus my energy toward representing Division 51 and
advocating for our interests in Council meetings. In addition, your
vote will help add an overlooked form of diversity to APA Governance;
according to recent 1999 data, although 1 in 3 (33%) APA members/affiliates/associates
were under the age of 40, only 1 in 20 (5%) of APA governance were under
the age of 40. If you feel that APA needs more active early-career psychologists
involved in governance, than I would like to take my experience and
dedication to SPSMM and represent you as the next Council representative.
Board of Directors At-Large (Two will be chosen)
Our membership is broadly represented within APA boards, committees, and offices (including, of course, one of our founders becoming the APA President-Elect). Our programs and publications have elevated the scholarly discourse about the psychology of men and masculinity, as well as promoted a profeminist and non-adversarial approach to gender relations. As gender is granted greater recognition as a major aspect of cultural diversity, men’s studies perspectives become central components of all psychological research, as well as attractive areas for aspiring graduate school scholars. While it seems clear that a great deal has been accomplished since our first organizational rumblings, much more can still be achieved.
First, it is likely that concerted effort can boost our division membership substantially. Although we will never become one of the larger APA Divisions, we can certainly achieve membership numbers more reflective of our notable influence within APA.
Second, we can continue to broaden our integration efforts with divisions representing non-mainstream men and women – persons of color and gay/lesbian/bisexual persons. Far too few of our members are co-members and participants of Divisions 35, 44 and 45. As we hope to attract new members to support our causes, we can productively consider how we might be more active in combating sexism, racism and heterosexism.
Third, we need to continue our activities to influence popular culture. Although the public appetite seems hungrier for the ideas of John Gray and Dr Phil, it might find more benefit and nourishment from men’s studies scholarship that truly “gets” the connection between traditional masculinity and common social maladies such as male teen violence, pornography, substance abuse, vehicular homicide, and steroid abuse. We “get it.” We simply need to persevere in our efforts to capture the airwaves. As I move along in my professional career, I can point to nothing that gratifies me more than my contributions to the psychology of men and masculinity. I have relished the symposia, the opportunities to publish, and the responsibilities of representing our division. I am willing to continue to try to contribute within the official division framework. If I am elected to do that, I will do so with considerable gratitude.
Regardless of elections, however, I will continue to be deeply committed
to this very special group, since nothing compares to the joys of friendship
with the men and women of this wonderfully caring organization.
One of more meaningful aspects of SPSMM for me has been the ongoing professional mentoring provided by members. When I joined Division 51 as a graduate student, I immediately felt welcome. Now as a professional, I work to mentor graduate students in regards to their interest in the division. I would support continuing efforts to attract new student and professional members into the division with the hope that with controlled growth the division can continue to mentor and support all members in the manner that characterizes this division. Another area where I value the presence of SPSMM is the area of clinical training and education about men and masculinity. As an educator, I value the importance of working at both the macro and micro level to inform the public and mental health professionals about ways to understand men and effectively meet their clinical needs. I think this is an area where SPSMM can have a more marked impact on the field and the public.
Briefly, my education includes Master’s degrees in health psychology
and counselor education and a doctorate in counseling psychology from
the Pennsylvania State University. I have worked as an elementary school
counselor and I am currently an assistant professor of counseling at
California State University- Fullerton. Within SPSMM, I keep myself
an active member presenting research at APA, serving on the Editorial
Board for The Psychology of Men and Masculinity, serving as a program
reviewer for APA, and attending the mid-winter meetings and men’s
retreat when I am able. In the upcoming year I will serve as the program
chair for the 2005 APA Conference in Washington, DC.
My current and projected future research and social policy interests
Academically and professionally, I received a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Antioch College and a Ph.D. in Social Relations from Harvard University. I have taught developmental psychology and more recently parent-child relations at the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto, California at Berkeley (visitor), and Florida International University here in Miami. Looking back, I have taught courses and published articles covering every stage of the life-cycle from along with cross-cultural work in Latin America and with field work in Mexico and Guatemala. I have Edited two small, specialty journals (Interamerican Journal of Psychology; Adoption Quarterly) and served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and International Journal of Intercultural Relations.
My strongest emotional commitment related to Division 51, actually,
is to the San Bernardino Mountains that sit just behind our Newsletter’s
Editor’s university. It was at the South Fork of the Santa Ana
River that I spent my boyhood summers in an old stone cabin built by
my grandfather who was a land surveyor in the area.
In early 2000, I was able to attend the mid-winter retreat and get
to know some people on a more personal level. That translated to more
contact at APA meetings, which I brought home to students at CSPP at
Alliant University, where I teach. I have encouraged a number of students
as well as San Diego colleagues to join Division 51, and have been gratified
with their response, from meetings at the convention from their involvement
and use of the list-serve, as well as from the increased interest in
Men’s Issues at the school. I have worked to increase the library
holdings of many of our member’s books, as well as to raise issues
of men’s and boy’s issues in my consultation groups with
the graduate students. I look to bring what I get at the national level
to my local psychological association, and thereby to increase interest
in Division 51. I am currently President of the San Diego Psychological
Association, and would be honored to serve on the Division 51 board
next year when my current duties are finished. Thank you for your consideration.
I am an Instructor in Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine
and at The Consultation Center, Division of Prevention and Community
Research. I am the Director of Research, Policy & Program on Male
Development. Currently, I serve as the clinical supervisor for the Connecticut
State EVOLVE Program, a 26/52 week domestic violence batterer intervention
program. I am involved in the Greater New Haven Domestic Violence Task
Force where I have held various leadership positions. My interests also
extend to work with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Public
Health as it develops protocol and policy related to sexual assault
prevention with men. I am Director of Research for the Male Involvement
Network, which seeks to support low income, non-custodial fathers' healthy
involvement with their children, families and community. This has lead
to discussions at the city of New Haven level as we consider how to
support men moving from incarceration to the community. In general,
my interests include risk and protective factors for adolescents identified
as at risk, fatherhood contributions to child development, the impact
of violence on the development of children, fathers, and families and
the impact of social and individual ethnic/racial identity on academic
In my work life, I am the founder and director of the Counseling Psychology
doctoral program at Texas Woman’s University which also emphasizes
Family Psychology and Women’s/Gender Issues. I also maintain a
part-time private practice in Dallas.
I bring a strong psychology network to the division in that I have served elected or appointed positions in several other APA divisions including 17, 29, 35, and 43. For example, I have been a Past-President of Division 43 (Family) and am currently Treasurer of Division 17 (Counseling). I also serve on the APA/BPA Advisory Committee on Colleague Assistance, the College of Professional Psychology, the Scrivner Fund Oversight Committee of the American Psychological Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the Texas Psychological Association. In the 1990s I served on the Texas State Board of Examiners including four years as Chair and followed that term with five years on the Education and Training for Credentialing Committee of ASPPB (Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards). These connections can be helpful in the development of joint initiatives.
In sum, I appreciate your support and look forward to my continued
involvement with the Society.
Approximately seven years after that first meeting, the timing seems
In addition, I have also been fortunate to have developed meaningful
Larry has described the role of Division Secretary as that of a “communications specialist,” linking Division 51, APA, 51 leadership, and the Division’s membership. My experience this year as Program Chair for the Hawaii Convention has given me invaluable experience in performing this role. I have been communicating regularly with APA, Division officers, Division members, and potentially new members, as I have coordinated the process of creating a program of symposia and posters. Becoming Division Secretary would be an opportunity to build on these skills as well serve as an important voice on the executive committee.
I have been a psychologist since 1997, but have been involved in men’s issues since the 1970’s. In my first career, as an educational filmmaker and children’s television writer, the focus of my work was helping boys resist the pressures to adhere to constricting definitions of masculinity, as well as cope with the often painful experiences of male adolescent development. I have continued this emphasis both in my clinical work as a psychotherapist and in my university roles as a teacher and researcher. I have published in Psychology of Men and Masculinity, among other journals, and have most recently authored a chapter for a human development textbook that will introduce New Psychology of Men ideas to a new audience of counseling and psychology students. In addition to serving as this year’s Program Chair, I am a member of two Division Task Forces, and serve as a consulting editor for PMM. The position of secretary would be an opportunity to be of even greater service to the Division. I appreciate your support.
Symposium: Enhancing Our Vision
of Masculinity---Stories From Men of Color
Symposium: Gender Role Conflict
Research---Four Empirical Studies and New Research Paradigm
Symposium: Psychotherapy With Men---A
Video Demonstration and Discussion
Business Meeting: [Business Meeting]
Social Hour: [Social Hour]
Symposium: Highly Achieving Racial
and Ethnic Adolescent Boys---Theory, Research, and Practice Implications
Shawn M. Burn, PhD, California Polytechnic
State University--San Luis Obispo
Frederick W. Willoughby, PhD, Central
Texas VA Health Care System, Temple, ZZ
William Ming Liu, PhD, University
Tracy L. Tylka, PhD, Ohio State
University at Marion
Ginger L. Welch, MS, Oklahoma State
Gagan S. Khera, MA, George Washington
Travis L. Osborne, MA, University
of Missouri--St. Louis
Michael Waldo, PhD, New Mexico State
Chapman P. Benjamin, MS, University
of North Texas
Gordon E. Finley, PhD, Florida International
David M. Lawson, PhD, Texax A&M
Travis L. Osborne, MA, University
of Missouri--St. Louis
Jennifer A. Lafferty, MA, Alliant
International University--San Diego
Melani M. Russell, BS, Louisiana
Michael S. Boroughs, MA, University
of South Florida
Jennifer M. Lane, MA, Clark University,
Guy Cafri, BA, University of South
Florida, Tampa, FL
Ronald F. Levant, EdD, Nova Southeastern
Maryse Aupont, MS, Nova Southeastern
Jimmy D. Hurley, MS, Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University
Sheree D. Conrad, PhD, University
of Massachusetts Boston
Joo-Yeon Lee, PhD, University of
Whit H. Missildine, MA, Center for
HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, New York, NY
Rita A. Johnson, MS, COPE, Inc.,
Bruce A. Bidgood, PhD, University
of Windsor, NONE, ON, Canada
Maryam Kia-Keating, MEd, Boston
Garrett A. Gilchrist, MA, UNKNOWN,
David H. Whitcomb, PhD, University
of North Dakota
Julia M. Whealin, PhD, National
Center for PTSD, Honolulu, HI
Christopher T. Kilmartin, PhD, Mary
Andrew Smiler, PhD, University of
Invited Address: [Levant]
Conversation Hour: Female and Male
Therapists---Gender as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention With Male Clients
Presidential Address: [Robertson]
8/01 Sun: 10:00 AM - 11:50 AM
APA President, Diane F. Halpern, PhD, will be presenting Dr. Bill McKeachie
with a presidential citation at the closing session of APA's 2004 annual
convention. The closing session is scheduled from 12 noon - 1p.m. on
Sunday, August 1 in the Kalakaua Ballroom at the Honolulu Convention
Center. Dr. Halpern asked that I contact you so that you would include
this information in your division newsletter because Dr. McKeachie is
active in your division. In your upcoming newsletters and convention
publicity, please encourage your colleagues to attend the closing session
to support the citation recipients. Below I have provided a brief description
of Dr. McKeachie's work and biographical information.
Psychology of Men and Masculinity is among the world’s first scholarly publications devoted to the dissemination of research, theory, and clinical scholarship that advance the discipline of the psychology of men and masculinity. This discipline is defined broadly as the study of how men’s psychology is influenced and shaped by gender, and by the process of masculinization, in both its socially constructed and biological forms. We welcome scholarship that advances our understanding of men’s psychology, across the life span, across racial and ethnic groups, and across time.
Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to, the processes and consequences of male gender socialization, including its impact on men’s health, behavior, interpersonal relationships, emotional development, violence, and psychological well-being; assessment and measurement of the masculine gender role; gender role strain, stress, and conflict; masculinity ideology; fathering; men’s utilization of psychological services; conceptualization and assessment of interventions addressing men’s understanding of masculinity; sexuality and sexual orientation; biological aspects of male development; and the victimization of male children and adults.
Submitted manuscripts must be written in the style outlined in the 1994 Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (fourth edition). Psychology of Men and Masculinity will accept both regular length submissions (7,500 words) and brief reports (2,500 words). Submitted manuscripts must not have been previously published and must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
Four copies of the manuscript should be mailed to: Sam Cochran, PhD, 3223 Westlawn, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1100, Phone: (319) 335-7294, Fax: (319) 335-7298, Email: email@example.com.
Nominations for Fellow Status in divisions 51, APA are presently being accepted for 2005. If you are aware of a member who has been exemplary in the areas of Research or Service for the Psychology of Males and Masculinity (or if you yourself fit the mold), please forward names to our new Fellows Chair: Mark S. Kiselica, Ph.D., HSPP, NCC, LPC Professor and Chairperson, Department of Counselor Education, 332 Forcina Hall, The College of New Jersey, PO Box 7718, Ewing,NJ 08628-0718. Office phone: (609) 771-3462 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EAST MEETS WEST: REFLECTIONS ON MASCULINITY AND FAITH
Special Focus Editor, Roderick
D. Hetzel, Ph.D.
Over the past ten to fifteen years there has been an increased interest in religion and spirituality in the psychological community. In addition to emerging theories and empirical research, this topic also has elicited considerable debate and controversy. One past president of the American Psychological Association (APA) noted that the APA should seek to dismantle the entire system of organized religion: “It doesn’t matter which religion, they are all patriarchal. And that is one of the major sources of social injustice in our society and in our world. Every major religion puts women down and grants women second-class status” (Murray, 2001). These remarks seem to reflect a common, albeit negative, reaction to religion among psychologists. Recent research has confirmed that psychologists are much more likely to identify themselves as atheists or agnostics than the general public (McGovern, 1998; Shafranske, 1996).
Nevertheless, many people still find comfort and solace in their religious faith. Recent survey research revealed that 94% of American claim to believe in God or a higher power, 75% pray regularly, 67% are members of a local religious group, and 67% describe religion as “very important” in their lives (Gallup, 1995; Matthews, Larson, & Barry, 1993). Religious faith helps people find purpose in life and provides guidance for how to live life. The purpose of this special focus section is to offer some personal reflections on the intersection of masculinity and faith in the lives of two men’s studies scholars. The authors of these articles were asked to respond to one question: “How has your religious or spiritual background impacted your understanding of men and masculinity?” The author of the first article adopted an eastern (Buddhist) tradition while the author of the second article offered a western (Christian) perspective. It is hoped that these articles will contribute to ongoing dialogue and stimulate further theory development and empirical research in the area of masculinity and faith.
John M. Robertson, Ph.D.
Psychologist in Independent Practice, Lawrence, Kansas
By birth, I am a North American male. By choice, I find much meaning in Buddhist perspectives. Although these two aspects of my identity are rooted in quite different cultures and traditions, both are central for me. They help shape the way I view my relationships, my occupation, my politics, and the universe. I am not a “teacher” in Buddhism (a position that is earned with much time and training), so I shall offer my views as a layperson. In brief, I want to describe what I have come to regard as an “ideal” masculinity for me. I shall try to show how these views are rooted in my experiences and readings in the Buddhist traditions. This model of masculinity includes several overlapping and interconnected elements.
Roderick D. Hetzel, Ph.D. Le
During the first twenty-six years of my life, if you had asked me about my religious faith I would have told you that I was either an atheist or an agnostic, depending on my mood and the type of day I was having. On a bad day I would have argued that we were just complex carbon-based life forms that had spontaneously arisen from the proverbial primordial soup. But on good days I suspected that there must be a larger “something” or “someone” out there that designed it all and kept watch over us—I just didn’t know what or who that something or someone was. I certainly wouldn’t have identified myself as a Christian during that time. Although my parents had dutifully sent me to Sunday school at the Methodist church near our home, I never caught the faith as a child. Growing up in the heyday of televangelism I had seen more than enough of Jerry Falwell and Jim Bakker—men who seemed more familiar with scandal than salvation—to know that I wanted nothing to do with Christianity. This conviction was strengthened by the gloomy faces of the men I saw each week at church. Religion was something people did more out of obligation than inspiration.
It wasn’t until I was coming to the end of my doctoral program in counseling psychology that I began to critically investigate the claims of Christianity. My agnosticism had given rise to a search for meaning that ironically took me straight to the faith that I had run from for so many years. But rather than resting on my own preconceptions, I decided to turn directly to the Bible for my own study. What I found stunned me. The Bible contained stories of regular people—not mindless automatons or one-dimensional pillars of faith—who stuck together and wrestled with the same real-life problems as people today. Even more amazing to me was the underlying story from Genesis to Revelation of a God who passionately pursued a relationship with his children just to offer them a hope for something better. Now this was a faith that made sense to me—a relational faith that had relevance for my life and fit well with my deepening understanding of human nature. In this article I would like to share with you how a biblical worldview has offered me a template for a relational masculinity.
What is a Relational Masculinity?
In contrast to the nonrelational masculinity encouraged by traditional male socialization, a biblical worldview promotes what I would call a relational masculinity. The first and greatest commandment in the Christian faith is to fully and completely love God: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). The Bible teaches that God purposefully created us to enter into and enjoy a love relationship with Him. At times the Scriptures depict God as a parent training a child while at other times God is portrayed as a lover in passionate pursuit of his beloved. Speaking through the prophet Hosea, God proclaimed, “I don’t want your sacrifices—I want your love! I don’t want your offerings—I want you to know me!” (Hosea 6:6). King David understood that he was created for relationship when he equated his desire to know God with the physical sensation of thirst: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2). A Christian worldview calls men to a relational masculinity marked by a deepening love for God and a continued dependency upon Him as our Source and Sustainer.
A relational masculinity is also indicated by the second greatest commandment in the Christian faith is to fully and completely love one another: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” (Mark 12:31). In the Genesis accounts of creation we learn that it was God’s original design for us to enjoy relationships with others. The night before his crucifixion Jesus met with his disciples and issued a final commandment: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35). The first century church followed this edict as they met together on a daily basis for fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2). It was through these close and supportive relationships that men (and women) came together to share their lives. Relationships with other people are such an important part of a biblical worldview that New Testament writers frequently used a body metaphor to describe our connectedness: “Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16). There are no Lone Rangers or Marlboro Men in the Christian worldview. Men to a relational masculinity defined by a selfless love for others and a commitment to connection and community.
Like many men, I had adopted a nonrelational masculinity during most of my younger years. I sought to convince myself that I could handle life on my own terms without help from anyone. If I just tried hard enough, I could overcome any obstacle on my own. Even when this nonrelational masculinity didn’t work for me—when it was obvious to everyone that I needed the help and encouragement of others—I somehow convinced myself that I still was my own man. This myth of independence was shattered when I discovered the foundational biblical truth that I was created for relationship with God and others. A nonrelational masculinity didn’t work for me because I was created to express my masculinity within the context of relationships. As I grew in my faith, I came to discard restrictive traits associated with a nonrelational masculinity and sought to embrace the relational masculinity I believed was taught by the Bible.
What does a relational masculinity look like? For me it involves a focus on relationships with God and others. It includes some attitudes and behaviors that western society traditionally has defined as feminine, including love (1 Cor 13), submission (Eph 5:21), confession (Jas 5:16), empathy (Rom 12:15), compassion (Eph 4:31-32), gentleness (Gal 6:1), humility (Rom 12:16), honesty (Eph 4:25), forgiveness (Matt 18:21-22), and encouragement (1 Thess 5:11). But it also includes some traits that typically are considered masculine, such as strength (Job 39), courage (Luke 13), and conviction (John 18:4-8). King David wrote, “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: That you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.” (Psalm 62:11-12). To me, strength and love epitomize relational masculinity. One without the other is incomplete—strength without love is destructive and love without strength is impotent. My faith has shaped my understanding of what it means to be a man by providing me with a template of relational masculinity and helping me to cultivate attitudes and behaviors that lead to healthy emotional and relational functioning.
Relational Masculinity and Sexuality
I have found that a biblical worldview provides a useful alternative to the nonrelational sexuality promoted in our culture. The Christian church has taught celibacy before marriage and chastity during marriage as a biblical model of sexuality. Why such seemingly strict standards? Because our sexuality is designed for connection (Gen 2:24) as well as procreation (Gen 1:28) and pleasure (1 Cor 7:1-9). The Christian faith recognizes that expressing our sexuality involves a level of communication and vulnerability that only can find its full expression within the context of a committed intimate relationship. Our sexuality is a sacred part of our personhood that should not be given away lightly or casually. Mathew 7:6 illustrates this principle, urging us to “not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” Like other men, I am regularly bombarded by cultural messages that promote nonrelational sexuality—from the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated to the halftime show of the Superbowl—and false promises that unconnected lust is next to (or above) godliness. For me, the Christian faith has provided a convincing justification and theological foundation for developing a relational sexuality as one component of a broader relational masculinity.
But a biblical worldview also has offered me a practical picture of what a relational sexuality looks like. Part of my journey towards developing a relational sexuality occurred while studying the revolutionary message Jesus Christ preached about women. Before his time, women were treated with disrespect and were significantly restricted by Jewish law and custom. They rarely were allowed to go out in public, were largely confined to their father's or husband's home, and were limited to roles of little or no authority. They were considered to be third-class citizens who were inferior to men and under the authority of men. Jesus overthrew centuries of Jewish law and custom by treating women and men as equals. He traveled and spent time with women, taught women students, and accepted women into his inner circle. He first revealed his divinity and resurrection to women. Jesus recognized the uniqueness of each woman and provided me with a role model of how to treat women with honor and respect. It was more difficult for me to objectify women after learning how much Jesus valued women. Through his counter-cultural commitment to relationships I was empowered to abandon my own cultural tendencies towards nonrelational sexuality.
Relational Masculinity and Marriage
Consider the following passages written by the Apostle Paul:
While many have been deterred by the perceived one-sided submission these passages seem to advocate, I am impressed with Paul’s emphasis on mutual submission as a central component of healthy marriages. It fits well with my understanding of relational masculinity in two ways. First, submission to God is necessary before husbands and wives submit to one another (v. 18). This principle is consistent with other biblical passages stating that our relationships with other people tend to mirror our relationship with God (cf 1 John 4, Mark 12). Second, husbands and wives should submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Paul begins this section with a general instruction for mutual submission (v. 21), but then continues with specific examples of submission for wives (v. 22-24) and for husbands (v. 25-33). Why did Paul tell women to submit and men to love? The answer can be found by interpreting these passages in the broader cultural context. At that time, wives were under the complete authority of their husbands and had to obey them in all circumstances. Perhaps some wives, who were now free in Christ, found submission difficult after so many years of abuse and mistreatment. Perhaps husbands, accustomed to having unlimited power as head of the household, were not used to treating their wives with respect and love. This letter must have caused considerable controversy within the church as it called wives and husbands to submit to one another, to value and honor the other as children of God, and to place the needs of the other and the relationship ahead of their own individual needs.
Although a more detailed exegesis is beyond the scope of the present article, I understand these passages to teach the importance of mutuality in marriage. Moreover, I believe that mutual submission is not truly possible until one embraces a relational masculinity. More traditional forms of masculinity usually do not include the ongoing relational awareneness that is required for mutual submission. My wife and I approach our marriage as an equal partnership and seek to understand and validate the needs and desires of each other. We equally share household tasks and decision-making responsibilities. The foundation of our marriage is a deep and abiding love for God and each other which we express through mutual submission to each other. We have not yet had a disagreement about who was the head of the family or who was supposed to submit to whom. I recognize that others may not agree with my views on mutual submission, but I have found this perspective consistent with my understanding of relational masculinity and biblical principles. We have been blessed with how well this approach works in our marriage.
Ed Tejirian, Ph.D.
On the front page of the New York Times of January 11, 2004 there appeared an article on children being raised by two gay men—in effect by two fathers. The article disclosed that in some instances the children were adopted while in others the route was via surrogacy. As is commonly the case between conventionally married partners, one of the two fathers sometimes chose to quit his job or put his career on hold in order to devote himself to full-time parenting.
In Fatherhood for Gay Men: An Emotional and Practical Guide to Becoming a Gay Dad, Kevin McGarry tells the story of his adoption of two infant boys born in Viet Nam. Unusually, McGarry is without a partner. While a fair number of countries permit adoption by single women, only a handful permit adoption by single men. Viet Nam is among those. McGarry's choice was to opt for male infants. The slim volume of 107 pages recounts how he came to his decision and the process of following through on it. At the same time, it is intended as a primer designed to help other prospective gay parents to undertake such a process for themselves. His motivation was the simplest in the world—he wanted to be a father. With the desire to be a parent, we have, in a sense, arrived at psychological rock-bottom because such a universal wish requires no further explanation.
I'm not aware that enough time has passed for children raised from the beginning by gay parents to have reached an age where they can be called upon to reflect on the experience. But the evidence that is in suggests that children still in their formative years can be as healthy and happy as their counterparts in conventional families. As of the book's publication date, both of Kevin McGarry's boys, still in the early childhood years, appear to be doing well. As for the future, the most serious problems experienced by people with a same-sex orientation result from external sources—from hostility and discrimination directed at them from elements within our political, religious, and educational institutions. The same would, I think, apply to McGarry's sons as well as children being raised by other gay parents.
In Life Curves: Sons Talk about their Gay Parents, Andrew Gottlieb reports on the feelings and thoughts of eleven sons who, in fact, did have gay fathers. However, in contrast to the situation where gay parents adopt, all the fathers were married to their mothers when their sons were born. This presents children with a situation that differs, in some important respects, from being raised by parents who acknowledge themselves to be gay from the outset. In the latter situation, as children acquire the categories necessary for understanding, they will grow up with the realization that their parents are gay. The sons in Life Curves did not grow up knowing this about their fathers, with the possible exception of Noah, age twenty-three, who said he realized it by the age of five. A further complicating factor is that in the eleven cases that Gottlieb talks about, the parents divorced, with the potential for stress and disruption in a child's life that this implies. However, in contrast with what sometimes occurs after a divorce, the fathers continued to play a role in their sons' lives.
The method used in the study was qualitative. An initial face-to-face interview was followed up by written dialogues through e-mail, except for one instance where no initial interview took place. In spite of these limitations, the sons' communications were emotionally revealing. My own experience in doing qualitative research is that people can be remarkably candid both in writing and in face-to-face interviews with a sympathetic and non-judgmental interlocutor. Nevertheless, the reliance on written communications might have meant that some issues—such as Paul's sexual relationship with his father, to be discussed below—were left without the deeper exploration that ongoing face-to-face dialogues would have made possible.
As they came to understand their father's sexual orientation, a number of the sons, during adolescence, questioned their own. In fact, however, only two of the eleven wound up identifying themselves as gay. Of these, Joseph came to an awareness of his same-sex orientation during adolescence, as is so commonly the case. The other, Paul, appears not have done so until sometime around thirty, although his life's story was quite divergent from the norm. His father engaged Paul in sex from the age of six to nineteen. Thus, while initiated by his father, somewhere along this time-line the sexual relationship must have become effectively consensual. Unfortunately, how this transition took place and its successive meanings for the boy, adolescent, and young man do not really get the exploration that the psychodynamically inclined reader would wish. Quite late, at some point after he married, Paul came to view what his father had done as abusive and confronted him. His father refused to apologize, nonchalantly observing that Paul had enjoyed the sex. However, a few years later he did apologize. That a father as well as a mother can be the object of erotic feelings by a boy is, I think, confirmed in clinical practice. However, most men who engage children sexually lack the insight into the emotional impact on a child of such engagement, as well as the emotional maturity to take responsibility for it. And this seems to be true of Paul's father, who remarried and, it seems, never identified as gay. In the interim, Paul's mother also remarried and, incredibly, Paul found himself the target of a stepfather who violently tried to force his sexual attentions on his stepson who, in this case, rejected them.
But Paul's father was the glaring exception to the rule. While the relationships between father and son were not without problems, they were on the whole characterized by varying degrees of contact, caring, and warmth by the fathers. And the feelings of love, affection, or pride on the part of the sons seem to have been correlated with the degree to which their fathers worked to maintain a positive and affirming relationship to them. Certainly, as a group, these fathers did that at least as well as non-gay fathers, if not better. Perhaps that helped to make their sexuality, in the end, a non-issue for their sons.
That said, one is left wishing that we could have heard the fathers' voices as well. Why did they marry and have children in the first place? We know that at least two were aware of their same-sex feelings at the outset and disclosed them to their prospective wives. If adoption had been an option for gay men in the era when they were young would they have chosen that route instead of marriage? How many others were aware of a competition in their feelings for men and women at the start? For how many did a shift in the balance of their feelings take place as the years passed? To what extent did the quality of their relationship with their wives affect the balance in these feelings? In a number of cases, the fathers were described by their sons as being true to themselves by coming out as gay. Were they less true to themselves when they married? Can the truth about a person change over time, or can there be more than one truth at a given time? These are questions that are precluded by simply describing these men as gay fathers.
In refuting—correctly—the pathological theory of homosexuality, it seems to me that the thinking about same sex feeling in particular and sexual feeling in general has become increasingly black and white and essentialist. And yet, the map of the human heart is more complex than the social categories of our culture suggest. Some years ago, a colleague and I ran a workshop at a conference on bisexuality. Its title was "How to live as a bisexual person." Over thirty people attended, evenly divided between men and women. We asked each one to say a few words about their stories. One woman said, "Until six months ago, I was a committed feminist lesbian, then I fell in love with a man. Now, some of my friends won't talk to me." A man said, "I used to think I was only gay, but now I realize that there's a room in my heart for women." And another woman observed, perhaps with hard-gained wisdom, "I used to think monogamy was hard. Now I think non-monogamy is hard too."
Although it skims lightly over this complexity, Life Curves nevertheless speaks quietly to us over the din of the angry voices of political opportunism and religious bigotry. It tells us that whether a father shares a part of his love with another man or with a woman, it's of little consequence as long as he truly loves his son.
Gottlieb, Andrew R. (2003) Life Curves: Sons Talk About Their Gay Fathers.
New York: Harrington Park Press, 183 pp.
Lorne Opler, M.A.
“Exploring Paths of Masculinity” was the theme of the 2nd annual men’s symposium held on Friday Jan 16 and Saturday Jan 17 at the University of Guelph, located approximately an hours drive west of Toronto, Ontario.
Held in a warm, rustic conference center located in the middle of the campus arboretum, this two-day event brought together men and women from both the university and the local communities to discuss a variety of issues pertinent to men’s psychology and mental health.
The event was an outgrowth of last year’s first ever men’s conference which was designed to complement an already established campus men’s support group. Founded by Bruno Mancini, Director of the university’s Counselling and Student Development Centre, and Rob Baldwin a professional counselor and therapist, the campus men’s group began several years ago with the aim of providing a safe, affirming and supportive place where male students could bring personal issues out in the open without fear, embarrassment or shame. The positive feedback and publicity this group received, prompted the co-founders to organize a day-long program in November 2002 devoted to further exploration of men’s issues and men’s development. The event, which was open to all students, staff and university faculty, proved to be a big success, inspiring the organizers to expand the conference to two days this year and to extend its reach into the local community.
With approximately 100 people of different ages, races, cultures, education levels, and sexual orientations, the conference provided a unique opportunity for the discussion of men’s issues from a wide variety of perspectives. Leading off the symposium on Friday afternoon was a speech by Fred Matthews, PhD, Director of Central Toronto Youth Services, a social service agency serving families and young people in Toronto’s urban core. In delivering the keynote address, “The Normalization of Shaming and Blaming in the Socialization of Boys and Young Men,” Dr. Matthews asserted that the process of blaming and shaming normalizes boys into manhood through typical admonishments such as, “big boys don’t cry” “aren’t you man enough?” “ You’re just a sissy!” Men who employ such tactics need to realize the role they play in contributing to such self- destructive stereotypes that affect the next generation of fathers, husbands and sons. Dr. Matthews also focused on the increasingly pronounced impact that body image is playing in male self-esteem. Despite the acknowledgement of steroid use becoming increasingly popular among average weightlifters, why is there not more effort being made to talk to young men about the self esteem issues that provoke the use of these drugs?
Dr. Matthews address was followed by a panel of four men of distinct ages discussing how their own individual identities have been shaped by different historical notions or definitions of masculinity. The day ended with a concert devoted to the stories men weave and the music men make.
The following day began with a discussion led by Ian Brown, author, TV host and writer for Canada's national newspaper, the Globe and Mail. In his discussion, "The Portrayal of Men in the Media and Its Impact," the columnist demonstrated how the media's current crop of fathers, From Homer Simpson to Ray Barone of Everybody Loves Raymond are depicted as rather bumbling, somewhat incompetent and often clueless. This is a radical departure from TV fathers of 40 years ago, when the Ward Cleavers of the airwaves always knew the answers, never once doubting their competencies or questioning their capabilities.
For me personally, the afternoon session, “Stories from the Diverse
Paths of Masculinity” was the most moving and meaningful, as it
highlighted the real life stories of four unique individuals sharing
intimate reflections of their personal odysseys towards masculine self-acceptance
and awareness. I was most affected by two men’s stories, in particular,
as each presented an autobiography involving profound and intense self-discovery.
Bill Allan, a counselor and men’s group leader, spoke candidly
and openly about his battle with alcoholism and the childhood abuse
which spawned the addiction. “I felt like an unwelcome visitor
in my own home,” stated Allan, as he shared the struggle of being
raised in a household with a remote alcoholic father and a stern, disciplinarian
mother. “I grew up angry, scared & violent to hide the fear
–I found anger masked the pain,” he recounted. Drinking
by the age of 14, and visiting bars at 15, Allan eventually left home
at 16, seeking surrogate “father” relationships with older
men. “What lead me away from alcohol,” Allan shared, “was
I got drunk one hot August night and almost killed a man with my hands,
in a fit of drunken rage. A large part of me knew it was time to stop
that night, that my drinking and my anger/raging were out of control.
Something inside told me that there had to be a connection between the
two. That was August 24, 1991--I haven't had a drink since.” Four
to five years after getting sober, Allan met Rob Baldwin who introduced
him to his men’s group. Seven years later, Allan himself is now
leading a men’s group of his own in the southwestern Ontario city
of Kitchener. Allan’s message is both simple and straightforward
– anger does not have to be expressed with one’s hands.
As he says, “There are other choices to be made --though most
men don't know that they have other choices. It is a matter of reaching
out to them with an open hand to let them know there are other workable
ways, that do not depreciate or devalue them as Men. Men…do not
have to turn to violence to resolve conflict.”
Today Kyle works as a coordinator of the Trans program at a community center in downtown Toronto, where he works to support other individuals making the transition from male to female or female to male. Kyle admits, “Appearance is so important in mainstream culture.” That is why those making the switch from male to female have a harder time with the transition, he says. Simply, there are greater physical difficulties and challenges that exist for men who attempt to pass as women in mainstream culture. And that is why Kyle is there to help. Indeed, Kyle concluded his speech by offering words that apply to all of us as men, regardless of our biology, orientation or self-identity. “Being a man is about what you do and what you accomplish…and not about your anatomical parts.”
The afternoon concluded with a dialogue between the husband and wife team of Drs. Kathryn Greenaway and John Theis, both psychologists, and both involved in helping couples enhance their communication skills in order to deepen the intimacy of their relationships.
With a healthy representation of women at this conference as well, the diversity of participants and speakers created a stimulating mix of conversation and debate which hopefully will continue with even greater success at next year’s symposium.
To learn more about the event, contact:
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—Michael E. Addis, PhD.
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.
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Contact: Keith Cooke
Robinson, J. D., & James, L. C. (Eds.). (2003). Diversity in human interactions: The tapestry of America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Andrew Smiler, Ph.D., University of Michigan
In the introduction of their book “Diversity in Human Relations: The Tapestry of America,” editors John D. Robinson (a Division 51 Fellow) and Larry C. James state that the book’s goal is “to serve as a guide to assist in understanding our diverse population” (Robinson & James, 2003, p. xix). To achieve this goal, chapters address the (abstract) meaning of majority vs. minority membership and diversity as enrichment and also identify beliefs, issues, themes, and values typically endorsed by ethnic/racial groups (Hispanic/Chicano-American, African/black-American, Asian-American, American Indian/native-American, Hawai’ian native, and biracial-Americans, separately), older adults, sexual orientation minorities, religious groups, and disabled groups. Moreover, each chapter follows a standard format that addresses the terms/labels in use, provides a brief history of that group in America, describes several important beliefs/issues/themes/values, and then describes the manner in which these issues may appear in the context of therapy and other venues.
In her chapter describing the indigenous people of Hawai’i, for example, Cynthia Kanoelani Kenui begins with discussion of the legal terms “Native Hawaiian” and “Part Hawaiian,” which refer to blood quanta of 100% and 50%, respectively, and the Hawai’ian language term “Kanaka Maoli” (indigenous peoples), which refers to lineage and connection to native culture. Hawai’ian history includes unification of 130 islands into a single kingdom (1795), legal regulation of names (which mandated that women and children adopt their husband’s/father’s surname and the provision of a gender-appropriate Christian name; 1860), American conquest of Hawai’i (1893), and the ban on Hawai’ian language and other customs (1898). The impact of these events are then discussed, primarily in their relation to basic cultural values, beliefs and traditions (e.g., the importance of family and clan, connection to the land, spiritual/religious practices such as hula). The first author of each chapter is a member of the group about which she/he writes, and thus the text includes relevant within-culture terms and references, as well as anecdotal illustrations.
Perhaps the greatest strength of this volume is that the authors highlight not only the difference between minority and majority groups, but also differences within each minority group. For example, M. A. Ybarro notes that the term “Chicano” has been adopted by politically active younger Mexican-Americans but was (and may still be) offensive to older Mexican-Americans. Issues regarding non-identification with or rejection by the minority group (e.g., light-skinned blacks, bisexuals, emotionally disabled) are regularly acknowledged. Several chapters acknowledge issues of “double jeopardy” or “double discrimination” that arise for individuals who experience membership in two or more minority groups. Chapter authors regularly stress the importance of asking individuals about the extent to which the minority groups’s values influence their lives.
Of particular relevance for D51 members is the general lack of information regarding gender issues. The editors explicitly acknowledge that they did not include a gender chapter because the issue has been well addressed in other places, but specific manifestations of masculinity (or femininity)within minority group are rarely discussed. The volume also lacks some depth, but that is not surprising given the broad introduction to minority groups. Future volumes may wish to include a chapter that describes the experience of majority membership (i.e., European-American), which would help readers identify values central to this group.
Overall, the editors and authors have accomplished their goal of providing a highly readable and highly informative volume. Although applications focus on therapeutic realms, the volume provides an excellent introduction to each of its minority groups/cultures that would also be useful for educators, human resources personnel and students (undergraduate and graduate). Editors Robinson and James and their authors have shown us the threads that help make up the American tapestry; we must now explore the weave.
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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
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SPSMM Book Review Editor is Dr. Jay Wade, Department of Psychology,
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.
Division 47: Sport and Exercise Psychology
Trophies will be awarded to the overall men’s and women's winners and to the top three in each 5-year age group, from under 25 to over 75. The top three male and female finishers who hold membership in Division 47 will receive awards. The top three finishers who are current Psi Chi members also will receive awards, as will the top three current Psi Chi National Council members. To honor the exhibitors at our meeting who provide excellent raffle prizes for us, a special award also will be given to the highest finishing male and female exhibitor.
Pre-registration will run until July 23rd which means that the entry
form and fee must be received by that date. Please give us all the requested
information including age and gender so that the race numbers can be
labeled appropriately and save us time in determining your category
for the results. THE ENTRY FEE FOR PRE-REGISTERED RUNNERS IS $20.00,
which includes a commemorative t-shirt, raffle chance, and post-race
refreshments. PAST July 23RD, CONVENTION, AND DAY-OF-RACE, REGISTRATION
FEE IS $25.00. Pre-registration for students is $10.00 and convention/day-of-race
student registration is $14.00. PLEASE pre-register to help us avoid
too many convention and day-of-race registrations. Make your check payable
to: Running Psychologists.
You may pick up your race number, shirt, and raffle ticket at the business
meeting of Running Psychologists on Friday morning at 8AM (see the program
for room number) or at the APA Division Services booth in the main Convention
Area, beginning Wednesday morning. The 7th Annual Pre-Race Pasta Dinner
will be held on Friday evening, July 30th, at 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Please
mark your entry form to reserve a place at the party, details to follow.
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,
Division 51 of the American Psychological
Kurt DeBord, PhD
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Roberta Nutt, PhD
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