Silver Gummy is proud to support WiseGuyz program at the Calgary Sexual Health Centre.
The WiseGuyz Story
A few years ago, Calgary Sexual Health Centre began to see a critical need in the community. We recognized that most sexual health services were targeted to women, and that while teen pregnancy rates had dramatically dropped, STI rates continued to rise. We knew that domestic and sexual violence rates were also rising. We saw disturbing trends around the cultural and media messages about what it meant to be a man. We continued to see bullying and homophobia occurring in schools. Could there be a link? What were we teaching our young men, and how could we change the conversation?
As a result of these questions, WiseGuyz was born. As an organization with a long-standing tradition of effective, innovative programs in our community, we saw an opportunity to deepen our impact and tackle an issue at its root.
WiseGuyz not only has an impact on the boys themselves, but also their peers and the culture of the school itself, making it a place where students have empathy and stand up for each other. While there are short-term goals of encouraging healthy choices and better relationships, we know that long term this program has the potential to decrease bullying, homophobia and even domestic violence.
We recognize that boys are half of the sexual health equation. We also know that many of them are under pressure to play masculine roles, which can lead to unhealthy sexual choices, bullying and even violence later in life. As one boy put it, “WiseGuyz makes me a better man and a responsible and healthy teenage boy.”
By challenging stereotypes about masculinity, teaching them to respect themselves and others and giving them the skills to have healthy relationships, we can change a generation.