December 13, 2012

“We Change Attitudes And Behaviors Of Young Men”

Promoting positive gender norms, healthy lifestyles, and non-violent behaviors among young men in the Western Balkans within the second BiH conference, “Be a man – change the rules.”

The conference titled “Be a man – change the rules” is being held in the hotel “Holiday Inn” in Sarajevo today. The aim of the conference is to raise awareness about the role of young men in gender equality and promote new social norms related to masculinity, which is focused on supporting young men in the process of growing up in the 21st century men.

Violence continues to be a part of everyday life for many young men in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The media continues to point out to the new cases of interpersonal and gender-based violence. Recently published reports from Europe, which were drawn up by WHO and Espada, emphasize the presence of gender-based differences in minds and behavior of young men. Data suggest that it is more likely that young men themselves will be involved in interpersonal violence (both as victims and perpetrators), self-harm (suicide) and traffic accidents, acts which constitute the three leading causes of death among young men in Europe.

Feđa Mehmedović, Project Coordinator of the project “Young men as allies in preventing violence and conflict in the Western Balkans” in the XY Association said that this project was one of the few whose results are measurable through specific changes in attitudes and behaviors among young men who are involved in activities.

Through formative research and data collection on the impact assessment, Young Men Initiative has made significant contribution to the knowledge about the attitudes and behaviors of young men. The main results of the study carried out in 2012 further stressed the importance of certain issues that Young Men Initiative addresses through its workshops and “Be a man” campaign including safe sex and the prevention of violence among young men and against girls and women. One of the results presented in the Case Study 2012 is that among young men there are strong negative attitudes toward homosexuals. Also, young men are sexually active at this age range, but they have a limited understanding of sexual and reproductive health, and 23% of interviewed men find it acceptable to beat a woman.