Division 51 seeks to recognize and promote pathways for boys and men to live healthy and positive lives, and also to identify and redress the effects of restrictive masculinities. We do this through psychological science, education, advocacy, and clinical practice. In doing so, we aim to promote equality for people of all genders.
Dr. Jacks Cheng shares his perspectives.
When did you join Division 51? What made you interested in joining?
I joined Division 51 about 2 years ago when I began completing my practicum experiences at the local VA. As a queer Asian man, providing psychotherapy with primarily other men who endured trauma inspired a different way for me to approach my research and clinical interests in working with queer people of color. I was looking to see if I could learn more and make connections within Division 51 on these topics.
What do you find most valuable about being a member of the division?
I have taken the opportunity to participate in and lead some Division 51 sponsored programs at APA convention, as well as attending social hours and reading different emails and topics through the listserv. I have been able to develop a deeper and nuanced understanding of how scholars from different generations and cultural backgrounds approach the psychology of men and masculinity. Indeed, I have been inspired by the plethora of academic debates on current events and psychological science pertaining to men and boys. I enjoying learning about different masculinities and the role of men in our society.
What are your clinical, teaching, research, or other applied interests relating to the psychology of men and masculinity?
I became more curious about culturally indigenous forms of masculinities and the intersectional factors impacting gendered experiences through professional experiences with veterans and law enforcement officers and interactions with Division 51. I am particularly interested in looking at the strengths of culturally indigenous masculinities as protective factors for men of color and queer men. I hope to develop culturally sensitive models of masculine identity development and psychotherapy that utilize a social justice and strength-based approach to support men of color and queer men in their personal growth and resilience.