UA-76843172-1

Second SGI lecture series at MU: Dr. Andrew Smiler challenges masculinity

Laura Maginley
Assoc. News Editor

The Sexuality and Gender Institute (SGI) Lecture Series at Millersville University presented its second lecture on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Myers Auditorium.  Dr. Andrew Smiler, Wake Forest University, gave a presentation, entitled “Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male.”

Smiler’s lecture focused on masculinity and the role that gender plays regarding sexual confidence.  “ I think there’s a general perception that men are sexually confident and specific issues related to a male/masculine gender identity are rarely brought to the fore,” shared Didier.  Smiler also focused on the differences between early sexual milestones for hetero and homosexual boys and their dating relationships.

Smiler, formerly a family therapist in the suburbs of Philadelphia, now teaches in the psychology department at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Andrew Smiler was the guest lecturer as part of the SGI lecture series on October 16.

On Smiler’s website, he describes masculinity as “something that anyone can do, male or female, but people do it differently based on whether they call themselves boy or girl.  It also changes as we get older, and it looks different if you identify yourself as a ‘jock’ or a ‘nerd.’   We learn about masculinity from a lot of different sources, especially the media and our family, but these sources don’t always give us the same messages.”

His first book, which has the same title as his lecture, will be published in December.  He mentions on his website that he is interested in what is considered “typical” when it comes to all aspects of sexuality.  This would include anything from dating, romantic relationships, kissing and intercourse.  Specifically, he is looking at the lives of young men ages 15-25.

“In it (the book), I challenge the idea that teenage boys and young men are primarily interested in having sex and aren’t interested in relationships,” stated Smiler on his website.

According to Dr. Dominique Didier, associate professor of biology and co-founder of SGI, the reception and participation from the campus community has been positive since the institute’s first lecture on September 11.

“We are also seeing the impact in the community outside Millersville as well and already one local religious group has asked us to help them develop a program on sexuality and gender,” explained Didier.

The next SGI lecture is scheduled on November 13.  All Sexuality and Gender Institute Lecture Series events will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. in Myers Auditorium in McComsey Hall.