When we consider the overall wellness of students, looking at the cultural messages they receive is a critical place to start. Given recent events in the news, including several women in tech industry who have come forward to report instances of harassment, the underbelly of what has been labeled “bro culture” has been exposed. Over the past few years, the term has become a label for the dangerous normalization of sexual objectification, harassment, assault and homophobia. Green Ivy Educational Consulting founder, Ana Homayoun, wrote about the issue and how parents can help children disrupt these harmful messages, and work to promote positive social and emotional development in boys from a young age.
From the New York Times article,
Listening to how boys talk about others in the company of their friends is a start. The role of fathers, father figures, and other adult male role models — including coaches, teachers and school administrators — can be crucially important in counteracting media and other cultural messages, said Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA, the national association for student affairs administrators at colleges and universities.
Social media is part of both the problem and the solution.
Photos, messages and videos sent via Snapchat, Facebook messenger and other popular apps now regularly expose incriminating behavior and help put bro culture on notice. But social media can also feed the growth of bro culture, because communicating through a screen can make interactions — such as adolescents and teenagers pressuring one another to send nudes, sharing private photos and messages — seem more transactional than real-life relationships and thwart social and emotional growth.