Perceptions of parents and teachers on constructions masculinities among primary schoolboys Kirinyaga and Nairobi Counties, Kenya
Chege, Fatuma N.
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This paper focuses on perceptions of teachers and parents on the constructions of masculinities among schoolboys vis-a-vis schoolgirls in Kirinyaga and Nairobi counties. The paper is derived from a study conducted 2011 and 2012 titled “Girl-specific education focus and boys’ participation, performance and construction of masculinities in selected Kenyan schools”. The guiding objective of the research was to interrogate how boys engaged with schooling as they constructed masculinities during their transition to adulthood within the gendered contexts of schooling. The basic feminist standpoint theories that present men as a group as benefactors of a power structure that oppressed women as a group was challenged through this study. This study departed from the traditional Kenyan gender research which often foregrounds girls’ education without problematising the schooling of their male peers -the boys. Our findings revealed that the family and community contexts bore considerable influence on the way that masculine identities were constructed among schoolboys and schoolgirls. While construction of femininities emerged as benefitting from an implicit and sometime explicit complementarity between home and school cultures. For many parents and teachers, schooling tended to offer less practical frameworks for construction of masculine identities compared with frameworks available for girls and femininities.