The Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas at Austin started a new program to assist male students to “take control over their gender identity and develop a healthy sense of masculinity.” The program is called MasculinUT.
The new program is organized by the school’s counseling staff and the staff launched a poster series encouraging the male students to adopt a “health model of masculinity.”
According to their site, the goal of the program is to “include helping men explore ways to reduce sexual violence, helping students take responsibility for their actions, and fostering healthier relationships on campus and beyond.”
The initiative recently received criticism as an attempt to label masculinity as a “mental health crisis.”
The program is meant to “restrictive masculinity.” The program advocated that men are adversely impacted when they are told to “act like a man” or when they are encouraged to fulfill traditional gender roles, such as being “successful” or “the breadwinner.”
The university’s program released a statement about the perception of the program and stated the following:
“It has become clear that some of the communication and discussion surrounding MasculinUT did not convey this fully or clearly and was not effective at reaching the broad audiences the program envisioned. As a result, we will be reviewing the website and other content to ensure that it serves the program’s goals and will make any appropriate changes as we receive feedback from stakeholders.”
Currently, the university is looking to hire a healthy masculinities coordinator who will make approximately $4000 a month. This program is the first program nationwide to be administered by a college’s counseling department.