Engaging Men & Boys in Preventing Men’s Violence against Women

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"Masculinities in Transformation" Series:

"Engaging Men and Boys in Preventing Men’s Violence against Women: Progress and Challenges" by Dr. Michael Flood

What do we know so far about effective practice in engaging boys and men in violence prevention? This talk offers an assessment of contemporary efforts, drawing on existing evidence to identify the principles and strategies which characterise best practice and situating these within a broader framework of primary prevention.

It notes interventions and strategies which have made a positive difference, and those which have had neutral or negative impacts.

What are the challenges and controversies of this work? Violence against women is rooted in gender inequalities, and these are hard to change. Many boys and men are resistant to violence prevention campaigns and educational interventions.

Are efforts focused on men and boys at the expense of efforts focused on women and girls? Are they complicit with dominant constructions of masculinity? To what extent has ‘work with men’ come to be seen as an end in itself rather than as a means to gender equality? Does an appeal to the ways in which boys and men will ‘benefit’ from progress towards non-violence and gender equality downplay what they also have to lose?

An internationally recognised researcher on men, masculinities, and violence prevention, Associate Professor Flood has made a significant contribution to scholarly and community understanding of men’s and boys’ involvements in preventing violence against women and building gender equality.

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Michael Flood is an Associate Professor  in Sociology and an ARC Future Fellow (2015 - 2018). His research agenda focuses on gender, sexuality, and interpersonal violence. He conducts research on the organisation of heterosexual men’s social and sexual lives and relations and more widely on gender and sexual relations – their social organisation and meaning, shifts in these, and efforts to change them. A/PROF Flood’s research at present is focused in particular on interpersonal violence and its prevention, particularly with reference to men and masculinities. He has also published on fathering, pornography, anti-feminist men’s groups, homophobia, and related topics. His research draws on both materialist and cultural emphases in social theory, contributes to a critical sociological scholarship concerned with questions of power and injustice, and generates strategies and frameworks for policy reform and social change.

A/PROF Flood is an established researcher with a strong national and international reputation. A/PROF Flood has an extensive record of publication, with a total of 29 journal articles and 19 book chapters, 22 research monographs, and over 80 other publications. His research has attracted $1,476,000 of external funding. As evidence of his esteem in research communities, A/PROF Flood is an Expert Assessor. He has given 51 keynote or invited addresses, and been the referee for 72 journal articles and three book manuscripts. 

A/PROF Flood is also a well-regarded teacher. His teaching has received outstanding student evaluations and exemplary subject evaluations. In 2011 A/PROF Flood was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (Faculty Early Career Academic Award).

Finally, A/PROF Flood has an extensive record of community and professional engagement. He has established a reputation in Australian community and government sectors as a knowledgeable and articulate researcher on gender, sexuality, and violence. He contributes in particular to men’s anti-violence activism, coordinates the profeminist website XY, and has a series of other community involvements. In 2006 he received a NSW Violence Against Women Prevention Award, one of ten awards given each year nationally, for playing “an important role in raising community and professional awareness of the issue of violence prevention”.

Areas of expertise and potential topics for HDR & Honours Supervision

  • Sociology of gender, especially in relation to men and masculinities

  • Sociology of interpersonal violence and especially violence against women

  • Sexualities and especially male sexuality and heterosexuality

  • Sexual and reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS

  • Fathering and families

  • Pornography

  • Qualitative research methods

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