Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Matthew Gutmann Receives Toulmin Grant to Study Masculinities and Reproductive Health

June 12, 2017

The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation has awarded Matthew Gutmann, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI), a two-year, $300,000 grant for his project, “Research Collaboration on Masculinities and Male Sexual and Reproductive Health in Mexico.”

Gutmann, a faculty associate at the Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) and a faculty fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, will serve as the principal investigator on the grant, which aims to “contribute to universal access to sexual and reproductive health in Latin America and the Caribbean through innovative research on men and boys’ perceptions and understandings of masculinities and sexual and reproductive health.” It also seeks to “identify effective programming that engages men as allies to achieve gender equality.”

“There is a great need to better understand and address masculinities and male sexual and reproductive health through rigorous empirical research that engages men and boys, and to translate this research into clinical practice,” Gutmann said.

The project involves a joint effort between Brown University’s PSTC and Watson Institute and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR), along with its local partner in Mexico, Mexfam. The work will build on the conversations and collaborations of a joint conference in October 2016, also funded by the Toulmin Foundation, which explored the themes of adolescent fertility and pregnancy, masculinities, and gender-based violence.

This research collaboration will benefit from the rich research expertise of the two centers at Brown and the experience of IPPF/WHR as advocates and providers of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. IPPF/SHR has connections to populations, clinics, and SRH providers, as well as close working relationships with civil society organizations and government institutions, in almost every country in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The partnership between Brown and IPPF/WHR is well-positioned to define important research questions that are relevant to sexual and reproductive health practice, and to collaborate on rigorous research to address these questions, Gutmann said.

The project has three specific objectives: 1.) To generate evidence about masculinities and male SRH in LAC in order to inform and influence effective programming and messages that engage men and boys as allies to achieve gender equality; 2.) To facilitate the translation of research into practice through the development of replicable strategies and dissemination of research findings on effective programming on male SRH and masculinities; and 3.) To further the existing partnership between the Watson Institute/PSTC and IPPF/WHR to address the pressing questions in the SRH field by linking academic researchers and practitioners to build the evidence base of effective programming and improve the translation of rigorous research into practice.

To ensure the project is feasible, relevant to all partners, and produces research impact, the study will use “co-production of research” as a framework for collaboration. With Gutmann, a leading social scientist on men and masculinities in Latin America, heading the project, another principal investigator (Lorena Santos, Coordinator of Operational Research) on staff with Mexfam, and Dr. Ana María Amuchástegui (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana - UAM, Campus Xochimilco), also a leading scholar of men and masculinities in Mexico and Latin America, serving in an advisory role, the collaboration will capitalize on Gutmann’s and Amuchástegui’s research experience and harness local expertise to develop locally meaningful research questions and processes.

– Jo Fisher