Teaching the Psychology of Men: A National Survey of Professors’ Attitudes and Content Analyses of Their Courses

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Abstract

Teaching the psychology of men is a new discipline that has been developing over the last 10 years. Little information exists on the number of courses taught, the curricula used, and the teaching strategies employed. This research reports a nationwide survey of psychology of men courses and the professors who teach them. A mixed method study was conducted by surveying psychology of men professors (n = 44) and completing a content analysis of their syllabi. The survey polled professors about their: (a) course content, (b) teaching processes and strategies, (c) difficulties and dilemmas when teaching, and (d) personal reactions to teaching the psychology of men. A content analysis of the syllabi calculated the overall dimensions of the courses and the core topics listed in each syllabus. Most courses address topics that support the mission statements of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity (SPSMM). Commonalities exist in the content taught and many different teaching strategies are used in the classroom. The survey research and the content analysis were discrepant in a number of areas. Discrepancies were found between what professors report teaching and the content analysis of their syllabi on the following topics: men’s oppression, healthy positive masculinity, women’s issues, and research. The qualitative results indicate that the professors enjoy teaching the psychology of men but also face dilemmas and challenges in the classroom. The results indicate that teaching the psychology of men is becoming established as a discipline but greater involvement is needed from more psychologists in various specialties of psychology.

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