Our thanks to John Barry for this. He writes:
The first Male Psychology Conference (at UCL in 2014) was a one-day affair. Although there were talks from psychologists all over England, it drew a lot upon the work of psychologists within the fledgling Male Psychology Network, plus some UK-based third-sector workers (notably Jane Powell of CALM, and Glen Poole, now with the Australian Men’s Health Forum). But looking back it’s clear that the conference already included seminal material. Sam Russ, for example, presented a study which accidently found evidence of ‘male gender blindness’, a variety of cognitive bias that we now recognise as gamma bias. Dr Brenda Todd, developmental psychologist at City University London, presented an early version of her toy preferences research which became such a popular discussion point in publications such as The Conversation. But most of all, the feedback from attendees of this small conference was phenomenal, so the decision to organise a conference the following year was a foregone conclusion.
Since 2014 the conference has grown year on year, and had speakers such as Prof Rory O’Connor, Prof Gijsbert Stoet, and Dr Warren Farrell. Each year the conference is anchored by the presence of the conference Chair, Consultant Clinical Psychologist Martin Seager, the man who first proposed a British Psychological Society (BPS) ‘Male Gender Section’ in 2010, which resulted in the creation of the Male Psychology Section of the BPS in Sept 2018. Looking back on how far we’ve come in just a few years, it’s difficult not to be optimistic about the future of Male Psychology.
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