Facts About Gen.M
Gen.M addresses gender norms as a key determinant for risk for teen pregnancy. Research shows that traditional gender norms contribute to reduced use of condoms, increased number of sexual partners, and increased risk of unintended pregnancy. Adolescent females who hold traditional attitudes of femininity are more likely to accommodate the interests and desires of men, and adolescent males who hold traditional attitudes of masculinity are more likely to feel that pregnancy validates their masculinity.
Gen.M works with young men and women together in a “synchronized” approach. Of 35 evidence-based sexual health programs examined, only one took a gender-transformative approach, and that program was created for young women only. Gender Matters seeks to change that. We believe young men and women need to listen to each other and learn to communicate with one another. Without communication, men and women may continue to reinforce harmful gender norms for each other. Gender Matters brings a gender-synchronized approach to help young men and women understand and respect each other’s experiences.
Gen.M provides comprehensive sex education outside of school. In Texas, as in many communities across the United States, state and local laws and policies limit the amount of sexual health information that is shared in schools. With Gender Matters, we have built an innovative out-of-school structure that allows us to provide youth participants with the information and skills for healthy sexual decision-making.
Gen.M uses social media and new media (video) to reinforce the key messages of the Gen.M Project. Through social media, we are able to reinforce the key messages of the curriculum with youth participants after the program, as they return to their schools and communities. Youth are incentivized to participate actively in the social media group through viewing posts and making comments, and, for very active youth, serving as mentors and as ambassadors for the Gender Matters messages.
EngenderHealth, a sexual and reproductive health organization and SafePlace, a domestic violence organization are partnering to provide a more holistic approach to prevention. Research confirms that harmful gender norms are linked with both poor sexual health outcomes and increased risk of interpersonal violence. By partnering with a local domestic violence organization, SafePlace, Gender Matters bridges these two fields for a groundbreaking approach to the work.
Gender Matters can be implemented in diverse communities. Gender Matters has been successfully replicated across a variety of populations, rural, and urban settings. The following organizations either are currently implementing our curriculum, have previously implemented , or have trained facilitators for future replications:
- City of Austin’s Healthy Adolescent Program, Austin, Texas
- Travis County Summer Youth Employment Program, Austin, Texas
- African American Youth Harvest Foundation, Austin, Texas
- Healthy Futures of Texas, San Antonio, Texas
- Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Houston, Texas
- MAMA Knows, Inc., Ardmore, Oklahoma
- EngenderHealth, Togo, West Africa
Gender Matters is a curriculum that can be uniquely adapted to meet the needs of your community. With the capacity-building assistance of the U.S. Programs staff, our team will provide individual, tailored training and support for organizations that would like to implement Gen.M.
Our staff can work with your organization to help develop your own adaptations based on your community’s needs, interests and culture. EngenderHealth will provide full training and support both on the curriculum and on facilitation.
If you are interested in implementing Gender Matters in your community, please contact us.