Grade 6–Year 10 boys

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MASCULINITY – THE BATTLE TO BE A MAN

Boys do less well than girls at school and in their personal lives, are generally less focussed, less confident, more aggressive, and self-destructive. Men are 3 times more likely to kill themselves than women – suicide the main cause of death in young men.

“There are notions of masculinity and what it means to be a man that prevent them from getting help. There’s a belief that the very idea of being a man is that you deal with stuff and you don’t reach out or connect. Untreated, the problem snowballs. The combination of that and the notion of having to deal with it alone, is the reason behind high suicide rates.” (Jack Heath, SANE Australia CEO)

More than ever, young men are confused about their identity: Uncertain about who they are and what they are meant to become. They need greater direction and guidance in their lives, a stronger moral and values based framework to live by, and they especially need positive heroes and role-models because masculinity is learned not innate and many boys have a distorted understanding of masculinity. Significantly, this is Australia’s first generation of youth experiencing the ‘missing father syndrome’ – so strongly reflected in our youth/adult prisons.

Topics include:

  • Are you a man? – you’re going to become one
  • Macho myths – tough talk / sport / strength / fighting
  • Self-image – not just about clothes and looks
  • Authenticity – it’s who you are on the inside that counts
  • Peers – the pressure to conform & perform
  • Choices & consequences – there’s only two kinds: good & bad
  • Risk taking – playing ‘Russian roulette’ with your life
  • Booze & drugs – a real man can say “No”
  • Mental health – anxiety, depression
  • Courage – the strength to ask for help
  • Getting rich with $ – the price we pay
  • Sex – internet porn / ‘body parts’ (objectifying women) / stud v. slut / love v. lust
  • LGBTQIA – respect everyone regardless of their sexual orientation
  • Bullying – weakness in disguise
  • Anger – a normal emotion  /  Violence – anger out of control
  • Sooky babes – the strength to cry and express emotions
  • Heroes/role models – why you need them
  • The ‘missing father syndrome’ – filling the needs in your life
  • ‘Like father like son’ – re-shaping the mould
  • Mentors – the most important people in your life
  • Love – the ultimate relationship with yourself and others
  • Resilience – turning mistakes, failings, set-backs, suffering into strengths for life
  • The 4-Legged Stool – physical-mental-emotional-spiritual self-care
  • Giver v. taker – practising life-giving thoughts, feelings and actions
  • Masculine character & virtues – what it means to be a successful man

Note:  An evening ‘Father/Carer Get Together’ can be arranged to give fathers/carers                an overview of the boys’ seminar in order to sensitise them to the issues raised,              stimulate discussion, and provide helpful ideas and encouragement.

     Timeframe: 

     a)  60-90 minutes – optional audio-visuals and question time

     b)  2-3 hours / entire day – the above + workshop activities and debrief

     c)  The presentation can also be modified to meet your requirements