A panel discussion titled, “Gender, Sexuality, and Youth: The plight of young men at the intersection of multiple identities” was held at the University of Michigan School of Social Work (UM-SSW) on October 2, 2014. Moderated by Daphne C. Watkins Ph.D., President of the American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA) and assistant professor of social work, the panel was sponsored by the AMSA, the UM-SSW Critical Intersectionality Workgroup (funded by the University of Michigan National Center for Institutional Diversity), and the UM-SSW Men and Masculinities Workgroup.
The discourse began with a presentation on HIV in adolescents by UM-SSW assistant professor David Cordova, PhD. Dr. Cordova discussed the increasing trajectories of family conflict and their association with increased risk for HIV/STI among adolescents.
The second panelist was Stephanie Cook, DrPH, MPH, U-M postdoctoral fellow, who presented her research on the transition to adulthood for young gay black men in New York City.
Dr. Cook’s presentation was followed by a presentation about the responses of African American adolescent males to community violence exposure by UM-SSW assistant professor Desmond Patton, PhD, MSW. Dr. Patton discussed the ways in which young African-American men “perform” masculinity within the context of neighborhood violence and their behavior in social media outlets (i.e., Twitter).
The final presentation was by therapist and author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the stereotype of the promiscuous young male Andrew Smiler, PhD. Dr. Smiler added his insights to the dialogue by discussing sexuality education, sexuality in the media, and the idea of manhood in the lives of young men and boys.
After the panel presentations, Dr. Watkins moderated a lively discussion about the influence of masculinities on health and well-being for young men from marginalized communities. Audience members represented various units across campus as well as varying levels of expertise in gender studies. Attendees were able to build upon their knowledge of young men by engaging with scholars who focus on this critical research.
To view a video recording of the panel, please click here.