Macho culture turns boys off gym, study finds
The macho culture inside high school locker rooms is turning a growing number of boys off physical education, according to international researchers who are gathering in Ottawa this week to explore issues around body image and challenge popular notions of what it means to be a man.
“There’s no common public discourse in which schools in particular are actually acknowledging that boys struggle with what their body looks like,” said Michael Kehler, who teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario in London, and is one of the organizers of the three-day symposium, billed as the first ever to tackle the issue.
Mr. Kehler said boys who are deemed by others as too fat, too thin, not as physically capable and who don’t compensate by engaging in other masculine activities - namely booze, bikes and fast cars -are labelled as feminine or their sexuality is questioned. (Photo: Marie-France Coallier/Postmedia News Service)