School of Education

Masculinities and their Connection to Gender-Based Violence Explored in PhD Study

Dr Sibusiso Ngubane
Dr Sibusiso Ngubane

Dr Sibusiso Ngubane is excited to graduate with his PhD in Education for his study that looked at male university undergraduate students who are peer educators, and their understandings of masculinities in the context of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Ngubane’s interest in the topic came from his Master’s research which focused on high school boys’ articulations of masculinities in the age of HIV/AIDS. Developing curiosity around the subject, he explored how male university peer-educator students accepted, rejected or reworked hegemonic constructions of masculinities, how they connected it to GBV, their quest to reflect on their own beliefs and to extend that to working with other young men.

‘Gender-Based Violence is a serious concern in societies worldwide. In recent years, there has been much focus on GBV at institutions of higher learning, with research showing female students being the main victims of violence perpetrated by men. Men being the main perpetrators of violence puts masculinities under the spotlight and calls for a deeper understanding of how men construct and conduct themselves,’ explained Ngubane.

Most of the male peer-educator students who participated in the study embraced the expectations and responsibilities that accompanied their position, their articulations being characterised by varying degrees of reflexivity.

The findings also highlight the hegemonic campus masculinities that were constructed around materiality, contributing to the unequal gender relations through female students’ perceived consenting behaviours that suggested legitimation to their subordination.

The findings also point to the importance of peer education as a vital platform that enables male students to take the lead in discussions about gender norms that produce and promote GBV.

Ngubane noted that male university peer-educator students (MUPES) recognise gender inequality, how it promotes violence and that GBV arises from an imbalance of power within socio-cultural processes.

He thanked his family, friends and supervisor for being his support system.

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