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LETTER OF THE DAY - Disregard for women rooted in socialisation

Published:Monday | February 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:The issue of gender violence, specifically violence against women, has once again, not surprisingly, become a focus of attention. This following recent reports of occurrences at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and heated discussions surrounding the movie 50 Shades of Grey.

Globally, the violent abuse of women and girls has attracted widespread condemnation from all quarters, including the World Health Organization, with publications produced to facilitate urgently needed country interventions aimed at addressing this long-standing scourge.

However, interventions to address violence against women and girls have not yielded the desired results because of an ongoing failure to fully recognise and address root causes related to the perpetrators of such violence, our males, particularly our young males.

There is a vast and growing body of research-generated evidence pointing to a crisis affecting our males related to the absence of proper socialisation and positive values. As a result, many, if not the majority, of the next generation of males have no clue whatsoever about what it means to be the men God created them to be, especially in relating to the opposite sex.

Further, it has been clearly established that socialisation and the acquisition of positive values are best achieved in a healthy family environment during childhood, particularly during the formative years. Adults, including young men at our universities, simply live out what they have been taught or not taught during their early years and, importantly, what they have repeatedly observed being modelled around them by older men and their peers, first at home, and in the various forms of media, including movies such as 50 Shades of Grey.

The need for positive role models, especially involved fathers, is, therefore, extremely critical in the socialisation and acquisition of positive values among our young men, including their understanding of what true manhood is about.

Address fatherlessness

Therefore, to the extent that it exists in Jamaican households, fatherlessness must be addressed if there is to be a sustained transformation of a male culture that perpetuates young men seeing females simply as sex objects for the taking, with any resistance or apparent dissing being met with violence and abuse.

The National Association for the Family, in condemning such acts, calls upon all men, especially our fathers, to relate to the mother of their children, indeed all women, with love and respect, not only as their providers, but also as their protectors. Let us treat them as our queens.

Your sons (and your daughters) are looking on. As night follows day, they will follow in your footsteps and do likewise.