Thursday, 28 March 2013

Banning Circumcision In UK More Popular Than Any Political Party



Banning medically unnecessary male circumcision in the UK now has more support than any of the major political parties

A new YouGov poll commissioned by the Jewish Chronicle has found that the majority of Britons (38%) now back a ban on medically unnecessary male circumcision

  • 37% of the public support Labour
  • 27% of the public support the Conservatives 
  • 17% of the public support UKIP
  • 10% of the public support the LibDems
Glen Poole, director of the gender equality consultancy Helping Men, said: 

"Ending religious circumcision in the UK is now more popular with the British public than any of the political parties. As the majority of British people want to ban this dangerous practice, it is time for the Government to lead the nation in having the difficult conversations required to end medically unnecessary male circumcision in the UK. 

"The Government's 'call to end violence against women and girls strategy' makes it clear that harmful practices like female genital mutilation are unacceptable in a modern equal society. But surely protecting girls against unnecessary genital surgery whilst turning a blind eye as surgery is performed on their brothers, is also not acceptable in a modern equal society.

"It is now five years since  the NSPCC and the Children's Rights Alliance for England recommended that the Government take action to end the practice of circumcising boys without their consent. In that time baby boys bled to death in the UK as a result of medically unnecessary male circumcision. It is time now, with the public's backing, for the Government to take decisive action to confine this medically unnecessary practice to the history books.

For further information see the following links:





Majority Of Britons Support Ban On Male Circumcision


The majority of Britons now support a ban on male circumcision according to a YouGov poll for the Jewish Chronicle.
Asked whether they support or oppose a ban on “male circumcision for religious reasons”, 38 per cent supported a ban, 35 per cent were against a ban and 27 per cent were undecided.
Medically Unnecessary Circumcision is different from - and in some cases worse - than the illegal act of Female Genital Mutilation.
Last year a midwife was charged with manslaughter after a four-week-old boy bled to death after she performed a circumcision in his home. 
In a similar case, another baby boy bled to death after Rabbi Mordehai Cohen performed a circumcision at the boy's home in Queens Park, London. 
In a case in Bristol a baby boy's skill was fractured during a ritual circumcision performed ona kitchen table but no-one was ever held to account for the injury.
It is estimated that 100 Unnecessary Male Circumcisions are performed in the UK every day, a practice which can cause death, disability, disease, pain and discomfort and physical damage. 
Complications are common, two boys a week are admitted to the Emergency Department in Birmingham Children's Hospital and one boy a month comes close to death as a result of male circumcision. 
In Oxford, a survey revealed that 45% of 'backstreet circumcisions' performed at an Islamic school led to complications.
According to the Jewish Chronicle report, the number of people supporting a ban was higher amongst those aged 18-24 year-olds (41%) and people who support the political party UKIP (51%).

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Professionals Reveal The Top Three Reasons ‘Men Don’t Get Help'’


A survey of professionals working with men and boys in the UK and Australia has revealed the “Top Three Reasons Men Don’t Get Help” – and you may find the results surprising.

According to men and women working in helping professions like healthcare, social work and mental health services, the three main reasons men are less likely to get help from frontline services are: 
  • There are less support services targeted at men
  • Services supporting men receive less funding
  • Most help-giving services are female orientated

The survey was carried out in partnership between Helping Men in the UK and Men’s Health Services in Australia, two organisations committed to improving the health and wellbeing of men and boys.

While professionals in both countries agreed on the top three barriers that prevent more men and boys accessing support services, there were some notable differences.

Frontline workers in the UK thought that social barriers like the way men are conditioned and the way men cope differently from women were more significant than their Australian counterparts.

The Australian professionals surveyed felt that systemic barriers such as restrictive opening hours and the failure of services to market themselves effectively to men were more significant.

Workers in both countries agreed that issues like ‘male pride’ and the stigma that men may feel when needing help, were less significant that is popularly thought.

The results echo many of the findings of the Big Lottery’s INVISIBLE MEN report which found men were less likely to be benefit from social projects, that few projects target men and that “the lack of visibility of men in the social sector can be detrimental in engaging male beneficiaries if they feel that they are in a female environment”.

Glen Poole, Director of Helping Men said:

“We know that men are less likely to get help from a broad range of public services and social projects in areas like health, mental health, parenting and social care.

“We also know that there are lots of great examples of projects and practitioners who demonstrate by example that male service users do engage when services are specifically targeted at men and to respond to men’s needs.

Helping Men is the UK's leading resource for professionals in the business of helping men get help and provides news, resources, information, training, research and consultancy services.

For professionals who want help making their services more accessible to men and boys there will be a Helping Men Get Help training day in Brighton & Hove on Tuesday 23rd May. 

The Helping Men Survey took place online during January, February and March 2013 surveying 37 UK professionals and 44 Australian professionals. 


Top Ten Reasons UK Men Are Less Likely To Help Than Women


Top Ten Reasons Men Are Less Likely To Help Than Women (UK answers):

1. There are fewer support services targeted specifically at men
2. Services supporting men receive less funding that services supporting women
3. Most help-giving services are female-orientated (eg more female staff, more female service users, more feminine environment) and this can be off-putting for men
4. Men and women are different and they deal with problems in different ways
5. Men are socially conditioned to be strong, independent and not ask for help
6. Support services are less effective at marketing themselves to men
7. The stigma of men admitting they have a problem
8. Support services that offer help are less effective at helping men
9. Men's working patterns make it harder for them to access services which are mostly open during normal working hours
10. Men are less likely to get help than women because of 'male pride'

Top Ten Reasons Australian Men Are Less Likely To Help Than Women


Top Ten Reasons Men Are Less Likely To Help Than Women (Australian answers):
  1. There are fewer support services targeted specifically at men
  2. Most help-giving services are female-orientated (eg more female staff, more female service users, more feminine environment) and this can be off-putting for men
  3. Services supporting men receive less funding that services supporting women
  4. Support services are less effective at marketing themselves to men
  5. Men's working patterns make it harder for them to access services which are mostly open during normal working hours
  6. Men and women are different and they deal with problems in different ways
  7. Support services that offer help are less effective at helping men
  8. Men are socially conditioned to be strong, independent and not ask for help
  9. The stigma of men admitting they have a problem
  10. Men are less likely to get help than women because of 'male pride'

Results: What Stops Men Getting Help Survey

The Top 10 Reasons Professionals Say Men Are Less Likely To Access Help Than Women 



United Kingdom
Australia
1
Fewer Services Targeting Men
Fewer Services Targeting Men
2
Less funding for men’s services
Services Are Female Orientated
3
Services Are Female Orientated
Less funding for men’s services
4
Men Deal With Things Differently
Failure To Market To Men
5
Social Conditioning
Restrictive Opening Times
6
Failure To Market To Men
Men Deal With Things Differently
7
The Stigma Of Asking For Help
Services Less Effective With Men
8
Services Less Effective With Men
Social Conditioning
9
Restrictive Opening Times
The Stigma Of Asking For Help
10
Male Pride
Male Pride

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Suicide Biggest Killer Of Young Men

Suicide is now the biggest killer of young men in Britain, according to the male suicide charity CALM.

The latest figures show that the suicide rate rose significantly in 2011 with 4,552 men taking their own life out of a total of 6,045 people.

The highest rate was in the male age bracket 30-44. Suicide in this group accounted for more deaths than road accidents, murder and HIV/Aids combined.

‘The reasons for suicide are complex and often very individual,’ said Jane Powell from the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

‘The economic climate and social factors such as insecurities around work and housing, social isolation and substance misuse are felt particularly strongly in this group.’

‘This is a huge problem now in the UK and the time has come to start talking about it.’

Research by the University of Liverpool shows the recession in the UK has caused about 1,000 additional suicides in England – 84% of these 'recession suicides' were men with male unemployment associated with about two-fifths of the rises in suicides among men.

For information about 'male suicide' see our Male Suicide: News & Information Page and this post on Killer Facts About Male Suicide.

Boys suffering from poor body image say teachers



An increasing number of boys have low self-esteem about their body image according to teachers

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) says the promotion of ideal body images is reducing boys' confidence in their own bodies.

The union will discuss the issue of boys’ body image at its annual conference in Liverpool this week.

According to a survey of the union’s membership, 51% of teachers thought boys had low confidence in their body image. In addition, 30% said it caused anxiety in male pupils while 27% said boys took comments about their appearance to heart.

30% of teachers thought that pressure to achieve the perfect body meant boys were prone to start excessive exercise regimes.

Asked where the pressure came from, 68% of teachers surveyed said they believed the media, including television, magazines, music videos, adverts and social media was the biggest influence on male pupils.

54% said peers of the same sex were also highlighted as a key cause of pressure on male pupils to look good, compared with 83% who said girls put pressure on each other.

Association of Teachers and Lecturers general secretary Mary Bousted said:

"Young people are under tremendous pressure to have or maintain often unrealistic body images portrayed in the media.

"ATL members report that this….increasingly leads to low self-esteem, lack of confidence and anxiety in male pupils too." 

Last year, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image recommended all children took part in compulsory body image and self-esteem lessons.

To find out more see the BBC news story: Boys suffer from poor body image

To read more about boys and boy image see this NHS website

Women hitting men is not cute


A new US survey indicates that young women are three times as likely to admit hitting their partner than men.

The news prompted Daily Telegraph journalist, Jennifer O’Mahony, to highlight “the normalisation of intimate violence”  as “a disturbing trend with miserable implications for both genders”.

According to O’Mahony:

"Pop culture gives the impression it is cute, or empowering, or even sexy when women hit men. The scene reversed would carry a single connotation of misogyny and out-of-control male aggression, but here we are expected to laugh, or even to be turned on by these characters' resort to the grim shortcut of violence to deal with problems.

"And young women are clearly taking note. It was revealed this week that one in seven women aged 15-22 in the US admits to hitting their partner, compared to just one in twenty men.

"It is thought that as much as a third of domestic violence in the UK is female on male, according to the most recent British Crime Survey, and not all of it in retaliation.

"How many of us have seen women "playfully" slap their boyfriends after a few drinks, or knee them in the genitals, or joke about how they will beat them up? It is the sort of dialogue conducted by young women all the time, when the same words would (rightly) be thought of as repellent coming from the mouth of a man.

"Violence does not make relationship problems go away, but increases the chance of a similar incident reoccurring, whether a man is hitting a woman or a woman is smacking him back.

"Call domestic violence for what it is, regardless of gender: abuse. How cute is that?"

To read more see Mahony's article in the Daily Telegraph - Women: hitting your man is not cute!

Friday, 22 March 2013

March 2013 Helping Men News Round Up


One of the resources Helping Men aims to provide for people working to improve the lives of men and boys is a regular round-up of news on issues like improving men's health, supporting fathers, tackling male suicide, beating male cancer, educating boys, improving men's mental health, working with older men, with younger men, violence against men and boys etc.

This is our first news round up. To make this resource relevant and useful please feel free to send us any news that you think will be of interest to people working to improve the lives of men and boys to glen@glenpoole.com.


News From Helping Men



Improving Men’s Health

Men’s Health experts have criticized the Government’s new Living Well For Longer strategy for failing to highlight men’s health inequalities as an issue.

Also speaking out for men, a leading doctor has accused the NHS of sexism for refusing men life-changing penis surgery to help them maintain their sex life.

Elsewhere, the NHS Confederation has said that Sport should take centre stage in NHS Health Plans and we provide some tips on how you can make that happen.

For these and other stories about click here now.

Beating Male Cancer

Researchers at Surrey University are confident that they will have a new, simpler test for prostate cancer that’s twice as effective as current tests on the market within two years.

Meanwhile, calls to make the HPV cancer vaccine to boy as well as girls is gaining momentum and has the backing of 50 MPs.

For these and other stories about Male Cancer click here now.


Ending Male Suicide

A shocking 84% of people though to have committed suicide as a result of the economic recession are men say researchers. 

Boys who end up in prison are also 18 times more likely to commit suicide and Sean Duggan, CEO of the Center for Mental Health, has warned that boys in custody are at greater risk of suicide, self-harm and poor mental health.

For these and other stories about Male Suicide click here now.


Improving Men’s Mental Health

It was Self Injury Awareness Day at the beginning of the month and we published a handful of articles to mark the day including a new ’10 Facts About Men and Boys Who Self Harm’ guide.

For this and other stories about Men's Mental Health click here now.


Educating Boys 

There’s been a lot of focus on boys’ literacy in the past month. Author James Patterson has given his backing to a new campaign to Get Boys Reading with the support of the Book Trust who say that dads and lads are missing out on reading.

To coincide with World Book Day, DAD.info produced a Top 10 list of great books for dads to read with their kids and we’ve put together a list of great tips to help professionals improve boys’ reading from the national Boys’ Reading Commission.

For this and other stories about Educating Boys click here now.


Supporting Fathers

The Coalition has not fulfilled its promise to promote shared parenting according to some experts who say compromises on parental leave and family law reform are bad news for dads. Meanwhile, we take a critical look at the absence of fathers from Labour's #MumsNotMillionaires campaign. 

BBC Three has launched a new series about ‘clueless fathers’ called ‘Don’t Just Stand There I’m Having Your Baby’. We review the programme and ask if is acceptable for the BBC to portray men as clueless clowns.


Meanwhile, Young Dads TV have produced a list of five tips for social workers who want to become more effective at engaging with Young Fathers.

For this and other stories about Supporting Fathers click here now.


Ending Violence Against Men and Boys 


Four million male victims of rape and sexual abuse are being ignored by Government funding programmes according to a leading men's charity.


Elsewhere we look at why we need to make it easier for men to talk about domestic violence and identify as victims. 


For this and other stories about Violence Against Men and Boys click here now.


Older Men 

A leading doctor has accused the NHS of 'medical sexism' for refusing men life-changing penis surgery for a condition that mostly affects older men.


Meanwhile surprising data on alcohol-related deaths reveals that men are 12 times more likely to be binge drinking at 68 when compared with women.


For this and other stories about Older Men click here now.


Gender Diversity 


A male nursery teacher has revealed that he and other men working in childcare and early years education face sexism and prejudice. Fortunately he didn't allow the experience to drive him out of the sector and now his a champion for more men entering childcare. Read more about sexism against men in childcare here.


Men and Equality 


Winchester Prison has been slammed by inspectors after it was revealed that two older disabled men (one in his eighties) were locked up together 'all day' in small cell.



For this and other stories about Men and Equality click here now.  

Men And Work 


There is a growing interest on the impact of income and wage inequality on social outcomes. We've been considering whether this is good news for those committed to tackling the gender inequalities that men and boys face. 



For these and other stories about Men and Work click here now.


Events 

One of the areas of information we aim to develop in 2013 is our listings of events that are of interest to people working men and boys sector. If you know of events you'd like to see listed here please contact glen@glenpoole.com.

To read about some of the events happening in the men and boys sector this year click here now