EIGHT MAN CONFERENCE
“MAN2018: IMAGES Serbia” is the eighth annual expert conference on men and gender equality, organized by the E8 Center this year in cooperation with UNFPA, CARE International and OSCE. The focus of this year’s conference is presenting the research on men and gender equality IMAGES Serbia and its results, as well as opening discussion on this topic through additional sessions focusing on masculinity and gender equality.
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Conference in Belgrade
Conference in Belgrade
MEN IN SERBIA
Changes, Resistances and Challenges
About IMAGES studies
This study presents the findings of the survey done by using the methodology of IMAGES studies on men, which has been applied in more than 20 countries and territories in the world.
MEN IN PUBLIC POLICIES AND STATISTICS
Serbia is at a kind of double beginning. On the one hand, different public policies are not properly gender-based (Antonijević, 2018), while on the other hand, men are insufficiently visible as gendered citizens, gendered individuals.
SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SAMPLE
The research was based on a nationally representative sample, which included 1,060 men and 540 women. Over half of respondents have secondary school education (54.5% of men and 50.7% of women).
RELATIONSHIPS IN THE PRIMARY FAMILY
Most respondents come from the families where both mothers and fathers have secondary education. The education of the parents decreases with the respondents’ age. The fathers of more than 15% of respondents have junior college or university education, while over 30% of respondents have such a level of education, which shows certain social progress.
EXPERIENCE OF VIOLENCE IN CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH
The majority of both men and women answer that they have never experienced violence in their parental families. However, the frequency of the response “never” leaves enough room for the presence of domestic violence.
RELATIONSHIPS IN THE PRESENT FAMILY
As in all other cases, the majority of male or female partners have secondary school education. Nearly every second man in the sample has a partner with secondary education, and the partner of every fourth man has junior college or university education. About two-thirds of female partners are employed, while about one-fifth of them are unemployed (and they are looking or not looking for a job).
PARENTING
Only a very small percentage of men attend the birth of their child (2.4%). The largest number of future fathers wait for the result of pregnancy at home or in the waiting room of the maternity ward.
SEXUALITY, SEX WORK AND TRANSACTIONAL SEX
Over 90% of men and women identify themselves as heterosexual (92.6%). Men preferred not to answer more often than women, and more rarely declared themselves to be homosexual.
Perpetration of violence and violent victimisation in the lives of adult men
The answers to the questions about the prevalence of various forms of partner violence show that the most common form of violence are insults and humiliation, committed by nearly one-third of men against their partners. In one-fourth of cases, men deliberately intimidated their partners.
HEALTH
Over three-fourths of men, as well as women, are satisfied with their physical and mental health. There are minimum differences regarding the engagement in physical activities that help maintain good health (slightly more men than women are engaged in such activities).
WAR EXPERIENCES
Asked whether they participated in the wars in the former Yugoslavia, 15.9% of men from the sample answered affirmatively. However, if we disregard those under 40, who make up over half of the entire sample, it means that nearly one-third of men over 40 participated in the war.
IDENTITY
Gender identity is one of identities, and it is related to other identities, most often to the national/ethnic one. Men express a higher level of agreement than women with the statement that their ethnicity is important to them.
GEM SCALE AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS GENDER EQUALITY
The examination of attitudes by using the GEM scale shows that women have less conservative attitudes towards gender equality than men. However, both men and women have the most conservative attitudes about the man needing to be strong and (stable) support.
NEW GENDER PATTERNS? RESULTS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
Why would a man be a different person than a woman? They can be persons with the same duties and obligations. What limits them is biology, and that’s it. But we are the same in social life. I think that the basic thing that determined me in that period was my perception of a person as a person, not as a man or a woman. Perhaps I was raised up that way. I do not divide people into men and women. (An activist)
VOICES OF MEN
Deconstruction of gender identity is certainly an advantage, because it is freedom. Freedom is not physical. Freedom from social constructs is freedom. You are freed and you can have freedom to create an identity… I am not saying that a man should become a woman and vice versa, but that everyone can construct themselves according to their needs and their own story. A man is a thought paradigm, which, in fact, needs to be overcome.
Deconstruction of gender identity
He can drink a lot, watches football matches, goes to family’s patron saint celebrations. He’s a sexist, thinking of s******g a woman. Pseudopolitics from the positions of power. Cynicism is an important feature of this patriarchy because you have to show that you are not naive. Because everything is a fraud. It’s the the position of an infantile patriarchy. Authoritarianism.

You’re looking around and see your dad, grandfather, brother, school mates who are always measuring something, measuring some power, competing and rivalling. Boys and men often feel the need to be right, to have it their own way. And since as a kid I watched and listened to what other people were doing, I absorbed a lot of these things, but did not necessarily reproduce them, because it was not really my thing; however, you must meet certain expectations to fit in the peer group and you have to play by these rules.

A typical man?

I think that it is about the ethical message being sent out and I think that feminism has brought the key to unlocking the code of ethics. In fact, it’s a matter of justice. Of love, of understanding yourself. Not an individual against others but an individual as a part of others. (…). So feminism is a key that unlocks culture, unlocks policies in order to understand the depth of social injustice.

Feminism

And then, over time, these friends of mine have become more and more serious in a kind of “bad boys” behaviour. There has always been some kind of admiration for mobsters. This Nenad guy was a member of that group, but I didn’t like it and therefore I distanced myself.

Peer violence
MEN IN SERBIA: Changes, Resistances and Challenges
Results of Research on Men and Gender Equality
IMAGES Serbia
1060
Men
540
Women
15
Individual in-depth interviews
3
Focus groups

Serbia, 2018

Serbia, 2018

In one third of relationships – insults, humiliation, threats.
In one fourth – deliberate intimidation of women.
In one fifth – slaps and throwing objects.
In one tenth – forcing to sexual intercourse.

Serbia, 2018

Serbia, 2018

In one third of relationships – insults and humiliation.
In one fourth –  threats and intimidation.
In one fifth – slaps and throwing objects.
In one tenth – forcing to sexual intercourse.

Serbia, 2018

Serbia, 2018

Fifty of young men took part in fights against the rival group.
Every fifth feels insulted when his partner asks him to put a condom on.
Sixty percent of the boys touched girls without their consent.
One-fifth takes drugs in school age.

NEWS