The Campus Hero Café: Engaging Young Men and Boys in the Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and the Prevention of Violence in Bangladesh

This project explored the linkages between traditional, harmful norms of masculinity, the stigma around sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the perpetration of violence against women and girls in three districts in Bangladesh. Due to harmful, learned messages about what it means to be a man and the societal taboo on sexuality, young men and boys in Bangladesh do not openly seek information about sexual and reproductive health and rights. Instead, many learn sexual behaviors and attitudes through watching pornography, which is increasingly widespread with the increased access to mobile phones and internet throughout the country. Pornography teaches men and boys harmful attitudes and behaviors around their own sexual health and normalizes violence against women and girls. This project responded to these findings with a three-tiered action approach: first, group education sessions for young men and boys through a “Campus Hero Café” to discuss issues related to gender, health, psychology, and sexuality with experts and open up with each other to reflect on their own attitudes and experiences in order to transform their behaviors. Second, community activism was encouraged and implemented by the participants. 

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