Engaging Boys in Eradicating Gender-based Violence: A Pilot Study of a Promundo-adapted Program

Allison Foley, Kimberly Davies, Todd Powell-Williams


The Brazil-based Promundo organization originated in 1997 and developed Program H to engage young men in the fight for gender equality. Research on Promundo and similar gender-transformative programs demonstrate that this type of intervention can significantly increase beliefs in gender equality and improve sexual health outcomes—pregnancy, safe sex practices, sexual and intimate partner violence, and STI and HIV transmission. Because Promundo has yet to be implemented in the United States, the authors worked alongside a victim service agency in the southeast United States--who has ties to Promundo--to adapt Program H for implementation with fourth grade boys. The program was piloted with a group of ten boys who attend a predominantly low-income and African-American public school. These boys were also a part of a statewide program to assist children at risk of academic failure due to poor test scores. This paper presents results of a pilot study which utilized a pre-posttest design. Assessment measures were adapted from program evaluations of Men Can Stop Rape’s Men of Strength (MOST) Clubs and include self-reported attitudes and beliefs about gender and masculinity, emotional expression and violence. Additionally, researchers conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with program instructors. This paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of implementing such a program with this particular population and explains changes to the program that will take effect during the second program implementation in Spring of 2015.


Promundo; Gender-based violence prevention; program evaluation; gender-transformative programming

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4471/mcs.2015.59

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MSC - Masculinities and social change | ISSN: 2014-3605

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