Engaging Boys and Young Men in The Prevention of Sexual Violence: A Systematic and Global Review of Evaluated Interventions

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Author/Publisher: Christine Ricardo, Marci Eads and Gary Barker / Sexual Violence Research Initiative and Promundo, 2011
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Violence against women is a widespread issue, one that exists in all cultural and socioeconomic contexts. Among the various forms of violence that girls and women suffer, rape is often the least visible and least reported. In many cases, such as in dating or married relationships, rape or other forms of sexual violence may not even be recognized by social or legal norms. While the underlying causes of sexual violence, are multiple and complex, among the core causes are unequal gender norms and power dynamics between men and women. Throughout the world, boys and men are largely the perpetrators of sexual violence, and girls and women are the victims. It is increasingly understood that menís use of violence is generally a learned behavior, rooted in the ways that boys and men are socialized.

The objective of this systematic review is to investigate the effectiveness of interventions for preventing boysí and young menís use of sexual violence, including: increasing gender equitable attitudes, bystander intentions, and other attitudes and behaviors. It aims to explore the potential for intervening directly with boys and young men in community and school settings to address risk factors for sexual violence within diverse socio-cultural settings. The interventions in this review are those aimed at changing general attitudes and behaviors. The focus is on high-quality studies, defined as having a randomized controlled or quasi-experimental design.


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