Racial identity, masculinities, and violence exposure: perspectives from male adolescents in marginalized neighborhoods
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Racial identity, masculinities, and violence exposure: perspectives from male adolescents in marginalized neighborhoods

  • Published Date:

    September 15 2020

  • Source:
    J Adolesc Health. 67(5):638-644
  • Language:
    English


Public Access Version Available on: November 01, 2021, 12:00 AM information icon
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Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    J Adolesc Health
  • Description:
    Purpose Male youths living in neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage are exposed to high levels of violence, which increases risk for violence victimization and perpetration, and shapes identify formation. We explored male youths’ conceptions of manhood, influences on manhood, and intersections with interpersonal violence in the context of a community-partnered sexual violence prevention study. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with predominantly African American males, ages 14 to 19, participating in a gender-transformative sexual violence prevention study. We used an iterative coding process to identify developing themes around youths’ definitions of manhood, influences on manhood, and intersections with racial identity and racism. Results Participants outlined visions of manhood that included many traditionally masculine attributes, and also offered nuance and subversion of traditional masculinity. Participants’ definitions of manhood centered on themes of responsibility, while also acknowledging the importance of emotional expression. Many participants described growing into manhood as a journey towards becoming a moral agent. Participants identified three predominant influences on their conceptions and experiences of manhood: 1) family and community connections, 2) interpersonal and structural racism, and 3) racial pride. Family, particularly fathers and other father figures, emerged as invaluable in understanding manhood and navigating racial identities. Conclusions These stories suggest that the process of entering manhood comes with unique challenges for adolescents who do so in the context of community violence and racism. Being mindful of intersections between masculinity and racial injustice can inform violence prevention programs that address the lived experiences of minority male youths in neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage.
  • Subject:
  • Pubmed ID:
    32943288
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC7712589
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