Engaging Boys in Eradicating Gender-based Violence: A Pilot Study of a Promundo-adapted Program
The Brazil-based Promundo organization originated in 1997 and developed Program H to engage young men in the fight for gender equality. Research on Promundo and similar gender-transformative programs demonstrate that this type of intervention can significantly increase beliefs in gender equality and improve sexual health outcomesâ€”pregnancy, safe sex practices, sexual and intimate partner violence, and STI and HIV transmission. Because Promundo has yet to be implemented in the United States, the authors worked alongside a victim service agency in the southeast United States--who has ties to Promundo--to adapt Program H for implementation with fourth grade boys. The program was piloted with a group of ten boys who attend a predominantly low-income and African-American public school. These boys were also a part of a statewide program to assist children at risk of academic failure due to poor test scores. This paper presents results of a pilot study which utilized a pre-posttest design. Assessment measures were adapted from program evaluations of Men Can Stop Rape’s Men of Strength (MOST) Clubs and include self-reported attitudes and beliefs about gender and masculinity, emotional expression and violence. Additionally, researchers conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with program instructors. This paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of implementing such a program with this particular population and explains changes to the program that will take effect during the second program implementation in Spring of 2015.