College of Education & Human Services


The Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men’s Development aims to provide quality scholarship, advocacy, and programming that positively influences college men’s development in a manner congruent with gender equity and social justice. 

Consistent with the core values of Western Illinois University, the purpose of the Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men’s Development is to:

  • Promote the values of social responsibility and personal growth.

  • Build and sustain positive collaborative relationships in support of social justice.

  • Foster a culture of scholarship and advocacy that critically investigates and promotes gender equity and healthy men’s identity development.

  • Increase awareness of the need for men’s and women’s mutual liberation from the confines of socially constructed expectations of gender and the hegemony they often foster.


The Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men's Development will be a primary resource for individuals interested in challenging societal gender roles, promoting social justice, and supporting people on their journey towards becoming who they are.


The Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men’s Development is committed to:

ADVOCACY: We advocate for social justice especially with regard to gender equity.

SCHOLARSHIP: We create scholarship regarding men's development and gender equity that represents the complexities associated with critical theory and social constructivism.

PARTNERSHIP: We foster partnerships with organizations interested in supporting gender equity and men's development, especially to implement effective educational programs.

AGENCY: We foster an environment that promotes men's critical analysis of traditional gender roles.

DIALOGUE: We engage in dialogue regarding men's development and gender equity in order to create an optimal atmosphere for creating transformative learning experiences.

CHALLENGE: We aim to critically examine our own assumptions and actions in addressing masculinities, gender equity and social justice, and welcome civil debate.

We believe that:
  • Mentoring, advocacy, and opportunities for dialogue regarding men's development are key components to helping individuals understand the impact of the social construction of gender and ways to more effectively self-author.
  • The production of quality research initiatives and programming are critical to challenging rigid gender hegemony.
  • Building partnerships with like-minded constituents constructs the platform on which we can more effectively create gender justice.


Foster a sense of pride, cohesiveness, and interdependence among all genders to create a more socially just society.

Create positive change toward ending gender directed violence.

Work collaboratively with other campus organizations whose interests are gender equity and just treatment of all individuals.

Help men better understand their gender performance and evaluate its authenticity in order to create a more healthy sense of self.



Expand the boundaries of knowledge related to men’s development.

Increase awareness of political and social issues related to gender equity.

Work toward eliminating gender directed violence.

Provide valuable resources to educators, researchers, and student affairs professionals seeking consultation, service, and the best practices in promoting men’s development.

Stimulate a forum for faculty, staff, students, and interested individuals for critically discussing men’s development, gender equity, and social justice.