My name is Jennifer Matthews and The Whistler Guys Study was my thesis research for my MSc in Health Promotion Studies at the University of Alberta. For my undergrad education, I completed a BA in English Literature (1990) and a Bachelor of Social Work (1995), both from the University of Victoria.
Before I went to grad school, I managed an innovative sexual violence prevention program for teens, Project Respect. My involvement with this program motivated me to look deeper into the phenomena of intoxicated sex and young men’s health. As I live in BC, I am acutely aware of the high levels of substance use among groups of young people, and that most of this use is not addictive but “recreational”. One goal of this research was to find more effective ways to talk to young men about sexual health and substance use in a manner that respects their social worlds and ability to make intelligent choices.
As a feminist, I am interested in how gender affects health. Masculinities theory has refreshed my curiosity about how young people today are experiencing gender and sexuality. In particular, this study has pushed me to look at the ways men and women interact to shape each other’s health. I am inspired to understand what is happening with young people, gender, sex and power today.
I live in Vancouver, BC and enjoy some of the best skiing in the world. I look forward to returning to Whistler and sharing the results of this study with the community. And catching a few runs…