Dhaka, July 29 (UNB) – Based on the outcome of a study carried out on 900 schoolboys, a research organisation came up with a data on Sunday to say 61.65 percent of them watch pornography.
The Center for Men and Masculinities Studies (CMMS), established in 2012 as a research based NGO registered under the Ministry of Social Welfare and NGO Bureau, also said that a whopping 70.55 percent wished to molest a girl after watching porn videos.
The apparently disturbing study findings were shared at a policy dialogue on ‘Preventing Gender Based Violence Involving Youth in Bangladesh’. CMMS and UN Youth and Students Association (UNYSA) of Bangladesh organized the event.
While delivering his welcome speech, CMMS Chairperson Dr. Syed Md. Saikh Imtiaz, who is an Associate Professor of Dhaka University’s Women and Gender Studies Department, said, the research was conducted on over 900 boy students of 50 schools in four districts.
CMMS said boys of the sample study are of in the age group of 11 to 15 years and they attend schools in Cox’s Bazar, Pabna, Sirajganj and Rangpur districts.
In its website CMMS stated that it has been working towards establishing equal rights for all by preventing gender based violence. It has been implementing a wide range of projects to educate men and women about women's and girls' rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, parenting and fatherhood to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
According to the report, 56.2 percent of the boys think men should take ultimate decision in the family, 57.45 percent of the boys thought of fulfilling sexual demand by force at some point and 66.2 percent agreed women shouldn’t go outside of home frequently.
The report said, boys in schools have very easy access to new media, mobile phones and internet but have no idea about the safe use of internet.
Some 86.75 percent of the boys use mobile phones and 62.35 percent use their device to access or browse internet, said the report.
The report showed that, 50.75 percent of the boys search pornography on the internet and 63.45 percent watch porn for the first time in mobile phones with friends.
Dr Imtiaz said, the organization found out that there is a connection between watching pornography and the increased sexual violence.
Lack of proper internet content and cultural activities in the rural areas are the main reason behind the school boys being addicted to pornography, he said urging on ensuring sex education for the school children through using new technologies and undertaking preventive measures.
Speaking at the programme as chief guest, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu stressed the need of creating awareness among the male children of the society and to take actions to resist deterioration of social and moral values.
Joint initiatives of multidimensional projects are needed to be undertaken to resist gender based violence, he added.
Dr Zeenat Huda, who teaches sociology at Dhaka University, said, the society is going through a transitional phase but people have not been able to adapt themselves fully with the changes yet.
Changing perception at the conceptual level is very much important to prevent gender based violence and to ensure equal human rights for all genders, she added.
Echoing her words, Professor Abul Barkat, President of Bangladesh Economic Association and Chairperson of Japanese Study Department at Dhaka University said, focus should be given to teach the future generation that how to think.
“Masculinity is not biological, it is not natural. Masculinity is social construction”, said Prof Barkat adding that, each family should ensure proper education and moral values for their children from the childhood.
Sharmeela Rasool, Chief Technical Advisor of Human Rights Programme of UNDP Bangladesh said, Bangladesh has become the top country in South Asia region for women empowerment while at the same time according to a data from Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), 87 percent married women here become victim of sexual harassment.
It is not about poverty or development, she said, adding that, 35 percent women globally have experienced physical or sexual violence while 200 million women are victim of female genital mutilation.
Urging on to come up with homegrown solutions for the prevention of gender based violence, Sharmeela said, the attitude and approach need to be changed to solve the crisis.
Nahim Razzaq, Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee of Ministry of Youth and Sports and Co-Chair of Trustee Board of UN Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh (UNYSA) gave vote of thanks.
After the inaugural session, participants in three different sessions discussed about the prevention of gender based violence and violent extremism addressing masculinities.