One of the lessons emerging from adolescent programs around the world is the need to create settings where young men can question things that are often seen as unquestionable, such as what it means to be a man. This issue explores the Conscientizing Male Adolescents (CMA) program in Nigeria which, unlike many programs targeting adolescent boys that emphasize short-term activities aimed at preventing disease and unwanted pregnancy, is a long-term program focusing on sexism and critical-thinking skills. An initial evaluation indicates that such programs affirm that we do know how to engage young men, and that historically reinforced gender attitudes can change. The next step is to integrate such approaches into large-scale programming, via schools, communities, the workplace, and the family. An extensive investment in gender-sensitive programs for boys is an investment in the next generation of husbands, fathers, and citizens.
Girard, Françoise. 2003. "'My father didn't think this way': Nigerian boys contemplate gender equality," Quality/Calidad/Qualité no. 14. New York: Population Council.