JC Students Learn about Healthy and Toxic Masculinities

Story Highlights

  • Third form students of Jamaica College (JC), in Kingston learnt about healthy and toxic masculinities and sexual harassment during a sensitisation session held at the institution on February 22.
  • She noted that there have been complaints from men about attending sessions regarding gender issues because they feel men “are portrayed as perpetrators of sexual harassment or domestic violence or enjoying privileges in the society.”
  • “It is very important to come to an all-boys institution. These are the young men that we are putting out into society and they need to know, so it is important that we sensitise our boys and our girls on these issues,” she said.

Third form students of Jamaica College (JC), in Kingston learnt about healthy and toxic masculinities and sexual harassment during a sensitisation session held at the institution on February 22.

The event, organized by the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, is a part of the Bureau’s annual school education programme.

It involves visits to schools, where issues such as gender, gender-based violence, including sexual harassment are discussed.

Students also learn about the Bureau’s mandate, which seeks to address socio-economic issues and to ensure that women and men have equal access to the resources and opportunities in Jamaica.

Presenters at the sensitisation session were Japan International Cooperation Agency volunteer and Community Liaison Associate, Mio Akita and Research Officer of the BGA, Nashan Miller.

Miss Akita told the students that Gender is not just about women but also about men.

She noted that there have been complaints from men about attending sessions regarding gender issues because they feel men “are portrayed as perpetrators of sexual harassment or domestic violence or enjoying privileges in the society.”

“We are here on your side,” she told the students.

She said that men are under a lot of pressure to be masculine, and noted that, “man nuh fi cry” Man nuh fi saff” and “man fi tuff” were some of the phrases she has heard from men.

While noting that nothing is wrong about being masculine, she said there are “many adverse effects resulting from excessive masculinities.”

She stated that toxic masculinities are characterised by excessive self-reliance, (not seeking help), restriction of emotion (not expressing anger or anxiety) and dominance.

She said that these negative characteristics sometimes lead to mental health problems, violence, promiscuity, risky behaviours, substance abuse and suicide.

Meanwhile, Community Liaison officer at the BGA, Kristal Tucker Clarke told JIS News, that it is important to sensitise the young men because they need to know how to express themselves in a healthy way.

“It is very important to come to an all-boys institution. These are the young men that we are putting out into society and they need to know, so it is important that we sensitise our boys and our girls on these issues,” she said.

She said the Bureau has been holding sensitisation sessions, with the communities, at community based organisations and faith-based institutions.

 

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