Up until now, there hasn’t been much violence prevention and respectful relationships information, advice and support around for young men. We knew there was a real need for a respectful relationships resource that specifically addresses issues young men face in their day to day lives and in their relationships.
Our organisation has also received many requests from schools which use our young women’s respectful relationships booklet Love: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, for a similar resource for young men.
Consultation and feedback
In order to develop an effective, targeted and useful resource, DVRCV conducted focus groups with young men at Victorian secondary schools and conducted an online survey. It also formed a project reference group to advise on current best practice in violence prevention to inform the content of the booklet.
The results from the focus groups and the online survey showed a high level of interest from young men in receiving a booklet about sex and respectful relationships.
What is Sex, Love and Other Stuff about?
The booklet starts off talking about what a relationship is, as a lot of young men weren’t sure exactly what constituted a relationship. It asks young men to think about what they want from a relationship, whether that is a casual hookup or a long term, committed partnership. Young men told us they wanted to know how to talk to girls, and so we’ve included a section which gives them some tips on how to start – and get out of – a conversation with someone you like.
The young men we spoke to were really interested in learning about sex – how to get it, talk about it and make sure they were doing it consensually. The booklet has heaps of information about consent laws, about how to broach the subject of sex respectfully and how to make sure everyone is doing what they want to do and nobody is being pressured.
The booklet also talks about the different types of power and what this might look like in a relationship. We ask young men to think about whether or not they’d like others to know what they’re doing or saying – and if they wouldn’t like their actions to be public, to think about what this means about what’s happening in their relationship.
One of the key causes of violence against women is a rigid adherence to gender stereotypes. The booklet encourages young men to think about masculinity and stereotypes and the different ways of being a man — some of which are positive and some of which can be harmful.
Outcomes of Sex, Love and Other Stuff
Sex, Love and Other Stuff aims to help young men be better equipped with information on healthy, respectful relationships, gender roles and appropriate services. In the long term, we hope that young men will engage in more equal and respectful relationships, have improved attitudes toward gender equity/gender roles and be less tolerant of violence.
On a broad level, the booklet (and the work that went into it) adds to the current body of knowledge about working with men to prevent violence against women. It is part of the move toward encouraging men to take responsibility for preventing violence against women.
Other resources for young people
DVRCV has developed a suite of resources to support young people to negotiate safe and respectful relationships. In addition to Sex, Love and Other Stuff, DVRCV produces:
- a respectful relationships booklet for young women Relationships: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- a website for young people http://lovegoodbadugly.com
- a booklet Something Not Right At Home for young people who are experiencing and witnessing family violence
- a website aimed at young people who are experiencing and witnessing family violence including sexual abuse http://www.burstingthebubble.com
To find out more about, or order these resources click here