Adolescent Boys and Young Men: Engaging Them a Supporters of Gender Equality and Health and Understanding their Vulnerabilities
This study of Adolescent Boys and Young Men highlights the importance of engaging adolescent boys and young men in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality. Not only is this engagement essential to achieve the full equality of women and girls, it also positively impacts the lives of men and boys themselves. This paper establishes a conceptual framework for engaging adolescent boys and young men. It reviews current research on boys’ and young men’s specific risks and realities in relation to their general health status, violence, sexuality and sexual and reproductive health, media violence, sexual exploitation, and other vulnerabilities. It also discusses the implications of these issues on the lives of women and girls. The final sections review concrete ways to work with adolescent boys and young men on sexual and reproductive health services, comprehensive sexuality education, fatherhood and caregiving, and the elimination of violence against women and girls, as well as how a masculinity lens contributes to understanding youth violence prevention in general. Overall, this paper aims to underscore that girls and boys stand to reap lifelong benefits when young men and boys are engaged in a more holistic approach to gender equality.