MasculinUT Program Does Not Treat Masculinity as a ‘mental Health Issue,' UT Says to Conservatives

AUSTIN — Conservatives, including one Texas lawmaker, have criticized the University of Texas at Austin for having a program aimed at redefining masculinity.Sites like The Rush Limbaugh Show and PJ Media recently wrote blog posts claiming UT was treating masculinity as a mental health issue. The university's Counseling and Mental Health Center, which started in the program in 2015, then clarified the language at the top of the MasculinUT page."The MasculinUT program does not treat masculinity as a 'mental health issue,' and any such statements are simply not accurate," the page reads. "It was established to bring more men to the table to address interpersonal violence, sexual assault and other issues."The counseling center's website explains that MasculinUT is trying to help men "explore ways to reduce sexual violence, helping students take responsibility for their actions, and fostering healthier relationships on campus and beyond."Like other conservative sites that covered the program, PJ Media scoffed at the definition of "restrictive masculinity," which MasculinUT says gives people a "narrow definition of what it means to be masculine." It also linked to a quiz titled, "Are you an Alpha or Beta Male?"The program recently sought a "healthy masculinities coordinator" to run the program and work with the seven other UT campuses. Soncia Reagins-Lilly, the vice president for student affairs and dean of students, temporarily deleted the job posting after it caught the attention of conservative bloggers and told the Austin American-Statesman her office will be reviewing the program's content and messaging.Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, tweeted a threat to take funding away from the university after reading about the program.   Continue reading...

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