Workshop to counter messages that bombard young men

Dangerous Gentlemen is a workshop by Dr. Claire Vanston to counter some of the messages that bombard our young men on a daily basis.

With the emergence of sexting, Internet pornography and explicit music videos promoting fast and loose sexual encounters, what messages are our young men getting about their character, honour and self-control?

Dangerous Gentlemen is a workshop designed and run by Dr. Claire Vanston to counter some of the messages that bombard our young men on a daily basis.

This one-day interactive workshop for young men aged 15 to 18 set to run May 11 at Mark Isfeld Secondary, emphasizes self-esteem, self-confidence and empowerment by reviewing behaviours seen in confident and successful men.

All the basics are covered — eating behaviour, interacting with authority figures, dating, grooming, presentation, greetings and manners. The workshop also addresses honour and chivalry, which many consider to be long-lost skills.

“You would be wrong, if you think this workshop is all about oyster forks and top hats,” says Vanston. “The goal here is to provide young men with the basic skills needed to create a strong positive impression in influential social and workplace situations.

“Knowledge and practice about how to act appropriately then fosters self-confidence and personal dignity in our young men.”

Dr. Vanston is not new to the Comox Valley, or to speaking with teens. She has been teaching high school students about sexual health and safety here for the past four years and is known for her direct, fact-based, upfront approach.

With a PhD in psychology and human sexuality she has the background to address any student question fired her way, including the ones intended to shock.

It is certainly an error to think of her as a 21st century version of an easily offended Miss Manners. Her presentation style is robust, humourous and unwavering.

So, what about young women and addressing the media messages hurtled their way? The Noble Woman workshop is in development and a scaled down version has already been delivered district-wide to girls in Grade 8 to 10.

More information about the Dangerous Gentlemen workshop is available at www.drclaire.ca (store/products).

— Dr. Claire Vanston

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