Journal article Open Access

A male perspective of psychology from the Rainbow Nation

De Boni, Angelo Vincenzo

This perspective piece aims to provide a current snapshot of the psychology curriculum as experienced by a male middle adulthood student in South Africa. A short declaration of my lived experience is followed by a review of literature relevant to the topics of feminism, masculinities, individual identity, community development and gender diversity. I discuss the questionable ethics of adopting various ideas coming from Western sociology and social justice activism, used to train Generation Z adolescents in counselling techniques. From my audience perspective, I reflect on the impact of including catastrophising theoretical material on young females, males, and people of colour who enter psychology with the best intentions; to learn how to help others. There is a bias in psychology today towards feminine traits which may ostracise the young male student at a time we when need more male counsellors. Concurrently, the inappropriate use of foreign theories may be driving away people of colour who are seeking emic solutions to their environment. There is a danger that we are fuelling the radical ‘decolonise’ advocates, which will further devalue psychology in developing communities. I advocate for material in the curriculum to allow for a balance within male psychology, science-based theories, and humanist values rather than identity politics and victimology. This discussion happens in the context of lower resilience in Generation Z, evidence of social contagion through social media, evolving masculinities, identity confusion, rising mental health challenges, and calls for decolonisation of education.

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