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Coaching Boys Into Men curriculum, used in Washington’s high schools, has major blind spot

Republishing this article from Equality for Boys and Men

September 24, 2021 by Admin

If you can see it, you can be it. This concept is rightly employed to emphasize the importance of girls seeing women succeeding in a variety of roles, including ones not conventionally associated with women. The flip side of this concept similarly bears truth: If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.

One role that many boys can’t see themselves in, thanks to the bias with which we educate them, is the role of victim of intimate partner violence (also called domestic violence). A textbook example of such miseducation is the Coaching Boys Into Men program, which is delivered by coaches of boys sports teams. Since its launch in 2008, thousands of coaches of high school boys have delivered this curriculum that fails in two ways:

  1. Coaching Boys Into Men reinforces stereotypes against boys while teaching them not to reinforce stereotypes against others, and – most importantly –
  2. With its focus on boys as potential abusers, Coaching Boys Into Men fails to teach boys how to recognize and prevent abuse against themselves.

Dating violence: 1 in 11 girls, 1 in 14 boys

If girls never abused their boyfriends, then the Coaching Boys Into Men curriculum would be acceptable as it is. However, surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control showed that approximately 1 in 11 female and 1 in 14 male high school students reported having experienced physical dating violence in the previous year. Furthermore:

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