Feminist Boys Studies Research Group


Kean, J. & D. Buiten (2024) Young Men and Feminism: Gendered Struggle and Sense-Making for Australian University Students. Men and Masculinities (Published OnlineFirst 12 March 2024)

This paper explores feminism as a site of explicit struggle and implicit sense-making for young men. Through an analysis of interviews with twenty young people at two Australian universities, it considers how popularised feminist (and anti-feminist) discourses shape discussions of men, boys and masculinity. Actively grappling with the place of boys and men in certain high-profile feminist debates, participants’ responses revealed core sites of tension around their collective and individual responsibility for gendered harms, tensions reflective of those present within feminist debates themselves. The impact of feminism could also be seen in the gendered analysis so many participants produced to make sense of limiting emotional norms, even though they did not recognise this analysis as a feminist inheritance. Moving beyond an approach seeking to categorise young men’s responses as either pro- or anti-feminist, this paper highlights the entanglement of feminism in young men’s sensemaking around gendered issues.


Burns, K. & J. Kean (2024) What do schools need to do to have a good culture and healthy approach to Gender? The Conversation (Mar 6 2024)

Cranbrook in Sydney’s east is one of the most elite boys schools in Australia. On Monday night, the ABC’s Four Corners program aired claims some female teachers had been bullied by male staff and sexually harassed by students. Amid the school’s decision to go fully co-ed by 2028, there are concerns about whether Cranbrook will be a safe space for girls. In a statement to the ABC, Cranbrook said its “current staff, including female staff, overwhelmingly support the School, its values and its culture”. It also said it has appointed teacher Daisy Turnbull to prepare for coeducation and “support the furtherance of gender equality” at the school. What do schools need to do in order to be genuinely gender inclusive?


Kean, J., Proctor, H. & K. Burns (2024) Why do we have single sex schools? What is the history behind one of the biggest debates in education? The Conversation (Feb 6 2024)

When students walked through the sandstone gates of Sydney’s Newington College for the first day of school last week, they were met by protesters. A group of parents and former students had gathered outside this prestigious school in the city’s inner west, holding placards decrying the school’s decision to become fully co-educational by 2033. Protesters have even threatened legal action to defend the 160-year-old tradition of boys’ education at the school. One told Channel 9 they fear the change is driven by “woke […] palaver” that will disadvantage boys at Newington. Newington is not the only prestigious boys school to open enrolments to girls. Cranbrook in Sydney’s east will also go fully co-ed, with the decision sparking a heated community debate



Hayes, H.M., Burns, K., & S. Egan. (2022). Becoming ‘good men’: Teaching consent and masculinity in a single-sex boys’ school. Sex Education. DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2022.2140133.

While consent forms part of the Health, Wellbeing and Relationships strand of the New South Wales (NSW) Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) curriculum in Australia, it is not consistently or effectively delivered within schools. The recent e-campaign, Teach Us Consent in NSW, drew attention to the alarmingly high rates of sexual assault experienced by young women during their school years or shortly after. The campaign called for mandatory, inclusive and comprehensive consent education in schools. This paper presents research from a case study of an elite, same-sex, Catholic boys’ school in NSW, Australia, examining the types of knowledge and attitudes young men and their PDHPE teachers had about sexual consent and the types of consent pedagogies mobilised. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with the five male PDHPE teachers, and a focus group was conducted with five Year 11 male students (aged 16–17). The findings highlight that while participants recognised the importance of sexual consent in intimate relationships, consent pedagogies were grounded in individualising discourses of risk, responsibility and care, which rearticulated hegemonic gender norms. Findings from this study contribute to discussions of how schools approach consent education, and the limitations presented by outsourcing relationships and sex education.


Driscoll, C., Grealy, L., & G. Sharkey. (2022). One for the Boys: An Affirmative Feminist Boys Studies. Continuum. 36(1): 1-3.

This special issue has been compiled to suggest that there is much to gain from affirmative feminist approaches to boys: from problematizing the categories of boy and boyhood; examining the multiplicity of boyhoods through historical, comparative, and intersectional lenses; and examining boys’ social and emotional lives as boys, rather than for the adults they will become.


Driscoll, C. & L. Grealy. (2022). Stranger Things: Boys and Feminism. Continuum. 36(1): 4-21.

This paper considers some cultural and intellectual problems arising from these dominant ideas about the relations between feminism and boyhood.


Kean, J. & Steains, T.K. (2022). Growing violence: the image of the boy in Australian domestic violence prevention campaigns. Continuum. 36(1), 22–36.

This paper explores the discursive construction of boys in two Australia domestic violence primary prevention advertisement campaigns.


Laurie, T. (2022). Complicit masculinity and the serialization of violence: notes from Australian cinema. Continuum. 36(1), 64–83.

This article argues for a revised understanding of ‘complicity’ as a undertheorised position and relationship within the social organisation of gender.


Sharkey. G. (2022). Failure to thrive: incels, boys and feminism. Continuum. 36(1), 37–51.

The group known as ‘incels’ (involuntary celibates, usually men) has become a spectacle for feminism as well as for mass media.


Tang, S. (2022). Notes on Transkids: an affirmative feminist study of transgender boyhood in Israel’s sexual modernity. Continuum. 36(1), 52–63.

Transkids is a documentary on gender transitioning children in Israel. My interest is in the quotidian lives of the three transmasculine youths portrayed in the film



Laurie, T., Driscoll, C., Grealy, L., Tang, S. & G. Sharkey. (2021). Towards an Affirmative Feminist Boys Studies. Boyhood Studies. 14(1): 75-92. DOI: 10.3167/bhs.2021.140106

This critical commentary considers the significance of Connell’s The Men and the Boys in the development of an affirmative feminist boys studies.


Steains, T. (2021) Nikkei Australian Identity and Hafu Boyhood. The Southern Hemisphere Review. Vol. 37: 43-65..



Driscoll, C. (2019) Girls and Boys. Cultural Studies Review. Vol. 25(2): 233-236..