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UN Chronicle. 2003 Dec; 40(4): p..The media, as an important agent of socialization in the modern world, either support or contest cultural conceptions, and have a significant impact on the social construction of gender. The media's effects operate at the level of gender belief systems, affecting individual "beliefs and opinions about males and females, and about the purported qualities of masculinity and femininity". The mass media have been found to play a critical role in maintaining the gender-power imbalance, "passing on dominant, patriarchal/sexist values". But such a situation is not inherent in the nature of media. They can instead be agents of development and progress if guided by clear, socially relevant policies. Their hoped-for positive contribution to women's advancement will only take place in the context of a framework that clearly defines policy objectives, maps out actions and decisions which comprise the particular policy, defines the minimum standards to be met by all participants in the process, and provides mechanisms for assessing progress towards policy objectives. (excerpt)
Patrifocal concerns in the lives of women in academic science: continuity of tradition and emerging challenges.
Indian Journal of Gender Studies. 2003 May-Aug; 10(2):279-305.This paper examines the social milieu of women academic scientists, parental influence in decision making in regard to the career of their daughters, parents’ expectations, importance of marriage and the criteria involved therein. The support of parents and spouse are vital for the success of women scientists. Nevertheless, the “dual burden” has an impact on professional work, and the consequent redefinition of “success” is clearly a product of patrifocal social structures and ideology. (author's)
PASSAGES. 1990 Summer; 10(2):1-3.Both others and young men themselves perceive boys and young men as being mischievous and interested only in sex from girls. These perceptions need to change in the interest of fostering male reproductive health. Several health service and education agencies have realized that a significant factor in the lack of male involvement in reproductive health decisions is that men have been excluded from the planning of relevant programs and services. Furthermore, there is only little information on the feelings and needs of young men. Programs which focus upon the many aspects of boys' lives will tend to be more successful than those which focus only upon their reproductive capacities. Programs which collaborate with families and other community resources help boys learn appropriate male roles and manly behavior, including the need to become fathers only at the proper, chosen point in their lives. New approaches to meeting young men's needs in New York, Africa, Mexico, and Costa Rica are described.
SEXUAL HEALTH EXCHANGE. 1998; (3):4.Two decades of Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK) advocacy of husband-wife communication and cooperation in family planning led Hong Kong's population to finally accept the notion of male responsibility in family planning. Recent surveys have documented high rates of male contraceptive use. The FPAHK established its first clinic to provide men with birth control advice and services in 1960, then set up a vasectomy clinic and installed condom vending machines. Working against prevailing traditional beliefs that childbearing is the exclusive domain of women and that vasectomy harms one's health, the FPAHK began campaigns to motivate men to take a positive and active role in family planning and to correct misinformation on vasectomy. Successful FPAHK efforts to stimulate male support for family planning include the 1977 "Mr. Family Planning" campaign, the 1982 "Family Planning - Male Responsibilities" campaign, and the 1986-87 "Mr. Able" campaign. Although these campaigns ended in the 1980s, men may now be counseled on contraception at 3 of the 8 FPAHK-run birth control clinics.
Social Science and Medicine. 1991; 33(8):897-907.The distinction and interrelation between sexual ideology and sexual experience in society, using ethnographical and anthropological data from the Bumbita Arapesh of the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea, are explored. While anthropological data have been employed to study sexual ideologies and myth in varied cultures, comparatively little work has focused upon sexual realities in local contexts. Among the Bumbita Arapesh, yam horticulturalists who number approximately 3000 in 14 small villages, men are traditionally and publicly held as dominant over women in sexual relations. Both sexes hold men to be sexual conquerors of women, devoid of emotional attachment, intimacy, and concern for the woman. 60 private personal interviews with 10 adults, and traditional ethnographic questions, however, show the sexual reality between men and women to be quite different from that promulgated by sexual myth. Women, out of concerns over the health of their children and/or the desire to limit the number of offspring, regularly deny sex to their husbands. The prevailing reality for longterm couples is, therefore, one in which women exercise great control over the sexual behavior of their male partners. Women do, however, play more subservient roles in short-term, adolescent encounters, and during courtship for longterm relationships. Also, counter to ideology, males are often anxious in the period subsequent to committing to marriage and prior to its consummation. Concerned over the potential physical pain of sexual intercourse, and the trials of sex and marriage, young male teenagers prepare by ritualistically incising a small part of their foreskins. Ideology about sexual behavior is closely tied to gender definitions of men and women, with the intimate realities, emotions, and misgivings over competence suppressed by both sexes. In circular fashion, ideology influences experience, while experience animates ideology.
NURSING RSA. 1989 Mar; 4(3):20-2.Numerous cultural practices and attitudes in Africa represent formidable obstacles to the prevention of the further spread of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Polygamy and concubinage are still widely practiced throughout Africa. In fact, sexual promiscuity on the part of males is traditionally viewed as positive--a reflection of male supremacy and male sexual prowess. The disintegration of the rural African family, brought about by urbanization, the migrant labor system, and poverty, has resulted in widespread premarital promiscuity. Contraceptive practices are perceived by many as a white conspiracy aimed at limiting the growth of the black population and thereby diminishing its political power. Condom use is particularly in disfavor. Thus, AIDS prevention campaigns urging Africans to restrict the number of sexual partners and to use condoms are unlikely to be successful. Another problem is that most Africans cannot believe that AIDS is sexually linked in that the disease does not affect the sex organs as is the case with other sexually transmitted diseases. The degree to which African governments are able to allocate resources to AIDS education will determine whether the epidemic can be controlled. Even with a massive outpouring of resources, it may be difficult to arouse public alarm about AIDS since Africans are so acclimated to living with calamities of every kind.