My overarching goal is to educate the Old Dominion Community about implicit biases towards men, in order for the stigmatization of men who project their feelings as feminine to end.  In order to obtain my goal, I constructed a meeting with Angel, M-Power coordinator, for an idea to put together a informational program about the following underrepresented mental health issues amongst males: bigorexia, alcohol abuse, and depression. This is a small list of many mental health disorders that victimize the college aged male. In order to keep the Old Dominion community pertinent and entertained, I included conversational questions to assess what the rooms initial thoughts may be, before entering the presentation.

The first installment of my informational presentation is a conversation. The conversation will give an insight about the  community of Old Dominion University’s young adults implicit associations about men, and emotions. I perceive that my ODU peers will unknowingly have implicit biases about men. These associations will imply that men with emotionality will be labeled as feminine. However, this is not true. In order to break the cycle of stereotyping men we need to be conscious of our implicit biases. Identifying these biases will bring about a conscious awareness of our feelings towards others that we may have not known before.

The next installment of my presentation includes a definition about implicit bias (knowledge for those unaware), with a video on the next slide about how implicit biases affect us. The following ted talk focuses on men and women whose names are looked at among job applicants. The hiring officials will look at the ethnic names, compared to the caucasian names. Implicitly sorting  them, while denying the ethnic names the job of their potential dreams, just based on their name. This is harmful to men and women who have the same credentials for the job, maybe even better, compared to a joe or bob. It is racially unjust. As an ODU community I felt we needed to be conscious of this fact, as we are young adults pursuing an education towards a goal for a career. We may encounter situations like this, so it is important we know how to counteract these biases amongst ourselves to change others.

The following slides present bigorexia. It describes the definition of the disorder, along with a video of how it victimizes both men and women. Bigorexia is the dysmorphia of one’s body image being too thin, in contrast to anorexia. Men are commonly affected by the disorder, but do not receive treatment based on stereotypes that if one were to pursue feelings of a negative self image they are either “gay” or “feminine.” It saddens me that men are afraid to show emotionality within their peer groups. Bigorexia has several signs and symptoms. I describe these in my presentation. The whole reason for my presentation is slash the meaning of what a man should be. We are all people and we deserve to be the epitome of our natural being. Mental health is important and should not be ignored.

The next slide focuses on alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is common in college aged adults. More common in men, because they feel pressure from society to suppress their feelings due to the implicit biases of others. With this ideology is causes a theme that men are predisposed for these conditions by default. More education and action on the part of the one’s peers could end the cycle. Normalizing the idea that men can comfortably be themselves, while expressing themselves could potentially make a man feel that they are not alone.

In regards to last slide, its focus is on depression. Depression is often comorbid with alcohol abuse. The same rules apply for normalizing the fact that men can be major depressive. The statistic show that women are more depressed than men, because they ruminate on their problems, compared to ignoring them. However, I feel this is not true. I believe men are underrepresented in the depression field, because they are stereotyped for seeking help. Thus leaving the data open for interpretation that women are the most vulnerable to developing this disorder. The knowledge is important for college students to have, so they can identify if them or a loved one has a sign of depression. Seeking help does not mean that one is less than another, we are all people who deserve love and normalcy within themselves.

This project was an attempt to end, or bring awareness to,  implicit biases amongst men who express emotions. I wanted to conduct a theory that women and men unconsciously think this way about the male population, within society. I cannot wait to show my presentation through M-Power next year. I want to cycle this presentation through the ODU community for years and years to come. Implicit biases are a big part of why people say and do things they necessarily do not mean. It is important to receive education on these matters, because knowledge is power. If given the information I feel the Old Dominion community will want to be consciously aware of their implicit actions. I have faith that there is hope for humanity. We all need to be aware of the implications of our actions, along with the meaning of our unconscious mind.

Below are examples of some of the presentation!

 

 


Ashlyn Brown is currently a student at Old Dominion University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies. She is a thick girl with style and grace who is learning to love herself each day. She enjoys reading, She could create movies in her head all day, along with reality television. She hopes to grow in her understanding the meaning of Bodylore and its commandments. With her growth she intends to help others blossom, while learning the hacks of the life and body. May our journey be a safe and powerful one.