Speak Up Speak Out

Men as Allies in Ending Sexual Violence

Sexual assault prevention requires a change from social norms which make violence normal and acceptable. From a very young age, boys are told by society that they need to fit inside a box made up of societal constructs that encourage domination and control of others rather than intellectualism and empathy. This limits the choices of expressions of men to rigid traditional masculine roles and values and keep men from exploring gender constructs.

ICESAHT has developed a primary prevention program called Speak Up Speak Out Program (SUSOP) to increase engagement and education of college age men to change rape culture and eliminate the occurrence of sexual assault.

SUSOP is designed to break down the rigid traditional definition of masculinity and discuss how it affects men’s ability to express themselves.

Creating a safe space for men to discuss other meanings of masculinity helps engage them as allies in the fight against sexual violence, it empowers them to practice bystander intervention, and it helps foster the ability for them to imagine a healthier version of their gender identity. In addition, SUSOP motivates participants to encourage peers and their campus community to engage in sexual assault prevention programming and becoming active allies in ending sexual violence.

Infographic about the Man Box prevention

The SUSOP curriculum consists of:

8 modules over the course of a semester

Discussion driven content with the intention that each module builds off the previous leading to more honest, open and effective dialogue. The dialogue centers around the following risk and protective factors for perpetration:

  • lack of empathy
  • general aggressiveness and acceptance of violence
  • coercive sexual fantasies
  • preference for impersonal sex and sexual risk taking
  • exposure to sexually explicit media
  • hostility toward women
  • adherence to traditional gender role norms
  • hyper-masculinity
  • family environment characterized by physical violence and conflict
  • childhood history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • emotionally unsupportive family environment
  • poor parent-child relationships, particularly with fathers
  • association with sexually aggressive, hypermasculine, and delinquent peers
  • involvement in a violent or abusive intimate relationship
  • societal norms that support sexual violence
  • societal norms that support male superiority and sexual entitlement
  • societal norms that maintain women’s inferiority and sexual submissiveness
  • emotional health and connectedness (Protective Factors)
  • empathy and concern for how one’s actions affect others (Protective Factors)

To learn more about SUSOP, please email info@icesaht.org

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