According to Qualitative researcher with the PASMO Regional Office, Isolda Fortin, the research was done in Belize with 5 groups of women from middle and lower income brackets. These groups however, were already established before the exercise, where one woman was asked to get together a group of her friends to hold discussions on the subjects.

Fortin said that the research shows that there is a major difference between what women of Central America think a real man is as opposed to women in Belize. She added that for the large part, Belizean women view a wider variety of masculinity traits than women of the other Central American countries. There is also better perception of condom use in Belize than other countries where the research was conducted. Women in Belize are more receptive to the idea of female condoms than are their counterparts of the region.

Other findings of the research include the fact that women want a man to share work with them on a 50/50 basis. Women in Belize also value strength of character more than physical strength in a man. Young women think that men their age are immature and overly concerned with what their peers think of them. Belizean women are also concerned about building up a man's self confidence and make him feel like a real man. Interestingly enough, Belizean women also believe that a real man will accept and care for another man's children. On the issue of fidelity, Belizean women, like those in Central America, don't expect men to be faithful and while the Central American women preoccupy themselves with it, the issue doesn't seem to be a major issue. Also looked at in the research was homosexuality and, it found that Belizean women view gay men as real men, even those with strong religious backgrounds indicated that gay men had a right to be respected regardless of their sexual preference.

With all the data gathered, Fortin says messages can be created to appeal to different types of masculinity in areas of condom use as well as HIV and AIDS testing. While the study was specific to these areas, Fortin says it may be useful in creating messages for other things like the use of seatbelts among others.

The Guardian