University of Wisconsin Course Examines Negative Effects of Masculinity


A six-week program offered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison aims to counter the effects of the societal expectation for men to be masculine.

The program centers on the premise that masculinity is primarily a societal construct rather than an intrinsic biological reality. Based on this premise, radical gender theorists argue that masculinity has a toxic influence on society.

The “Men’s Project” is a six-week program for male students that asks participants to reflect on the negative effects of the expectation to be masculine. A news release from the University of Wisconsin material claims that one of the goals is to “prevent future violence” from male students.

“We know that men are underrepresented on campus when it comes to campus leadership roles and getting needed medical and mental health services,” Sam Johnson, a violence prevention advisor says of the program. “They’re also overrepresented in acts of violence and use of drugs and alcohol. With this program, we want to find out why this is and how we can change that culture campus-wide to encourage healthier expressions of masculinities.”

“Men’s Project creates a space for critical self-reflection and dialogue about what it means to be a man and how masculinity impacts us and those around us,” promotional material for the program states.

The program’s organizers explain the program will help male students understand the influence of the societal expectation to be masculinity: “The experience focuses on the examination of societal images, expectations, and messages around masculinity to empower men to better understand themselves, promote the advancement of gender equity, and raise consciousness in their communities.”

The College Fix spoke with a representative from the University of Wisconsin. The university’s Director of News and Media Relations, Meredith McGlone, argued in an email that the program serves an important by examining the way in which societal expectation of masculinity influence male behavior: “These expectations influence the decisions men make about friendships; spending time outside of class; careers or academic majors; and sexual and romantic relationships. Men are socialized to believe they need to act a certain way to be accepted as ‘masculine’ or have what it takes to be a man.”

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about social justice and libertarian issues for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at


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