Executive Summary

The Maskulinities Project is a collaboration between three teams: Report and Support, Community Values Education Programme, and the Student Union; and has received funding from both the Student Union and the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

The University has a responsibility to tackle sexual misconduct and discrimination on campus. Many initiatives have been implemented to increase awareness, knowledge, and confidence of individual-level strategies to help create a more positive experience for all students. However, men and male-identifying students have been less likely to engage.Men are regularly faced with the promotion of rigid social and cultural norms and expectations, greatly affecting their understandings of what it means to ‘be a man’. Consequently, many young men do not know how to interact with each other, and with others, in a way that does not force them to put up a mask and perform what they perceive to be the commonly accepted version of their masculinity. These short-sighted understandings are major contributors to issues of gender-based violence (GBV), sexism, and homophobia on campus.

The project recognises the need for participative engagement from our student community who will be involved, first-hand, in the design and delivery of the project, under the expert supervision of the Project Team. We are committed to creating an inclusive and equal University community by equipping men and male-identifying students with the knowledge and skills they need to champion social and cultural change. We want to facilitate a different kind of teaching and learning experience that might differ from traditional academic structures, where information is passed onto student from above, and focus on an alternative that allows for knowledge, and consequently change, to be created and communicated by peers in a “lead-by-example” format. This can help us address issues around flawed understandings of masculinity and how these contribute to GBV, sexism, and homophobia on campus.

Our project can improve the quality of both teaching and learning at Warwick while also setting an example for future collaborations and innovative teaching and learning practices outside of the classroom. Young men and male-identifying students who participate in this project will then feel empowered to take what they learned back to the classroom and educate their peers, therefore engaging in a teaching/learning experience that starts from the bottom up and that sees students as producers and promoters of knowledge. This project can have a major impact because it sets itself as an imaginative response to current circumstances that do not only affect a section of our community, but that affect our University community as a whole. The pilot will run from April to July 2022 and will involve a number of men sports clubs. We hope to expand the programme to all sports clubs and societies in the next academic year.