Sexual violence (SV) and adolescent relationship abuse (ARA) are prevalent among adolescents
and associated with poor health. Global health organizations highlight engaging men and boys
in preventing violence against women as a potentially impactful public health strategy. This
study aims to test, via a two arm cluster randomized controlled trial, a "gender
transformative" SV/ARA perpetration prevention program among African American adolescent
males ages 13-19 (target is high school age) implemented in a community-based setting.
"Gender transformative" refers to a theory- and evidence-based approach to alter gender norms
that foster SV/ARA while promoting bystander intervention (i.e., giving boys skills to
interrupt abusive behaviors they witness among peers) to reduce SV/ARA perpetration. As the
acceptance of SV and involvement in unhealthy sexual behaviors are associated with SV/ARA
perpetration, this program integrates analysis of social norms that condone violence against
women, sexual health promotion, and skills in bystander intervention -- an approach that has
been implemented in multiple non-U.S. settings among young adult males with reductions in
violence, development of more equitable gender attitudes, and less risky sexual behaviors.
This will be the first test of such a gender transformative program among adolescent males in
the U.S. Via a 2-arm cluster-randomized trial in youth-serving agencies (16 clusters, N=840
adolescent males ages 14-19), this study will assess the effectiveness of "Manhood 2.0"
(proposed name for this gender transformative program) compared to a job skills curriculum.
Three months after the end of the program (Time 2), compared to controls, youth will
demonstrate increased positive bystander intervention behaviors (secondary outcome).
Intermediate outcomes are: condom use self-efficacy; contraception use attitudes; recognition
of abusive behaviors; gender-equitable attitudes; and intentions to intervene with peers.
Nine months after intervention completion (Time 3), youth will report less perpetration of SV
and ARA toward females (Primary Outcome) compared to controls. This study will provide
urgently needed information about the effectiveness of a gender transformative program that
combines healthy sexuality skills, gender norms change, and bystander skills to interrupt
peers' disrespectful and harmful behaviors to reduce SV/ARA perpetration among adolescent
- adolescent males ages 13-19
- recruited from youth-serving agencies in the Pittsburgh region
- able to provide their own assent
- English speaking
- adolescent males younger than 13 years old or older than 19 years old
- not able to provide their own assent
- non- English speaking