Lydia Dickerson, Emily Thomas both hold internships in safe spaces. Lydia works with LGBT youth, while Emily works with youth that are with a parent seeking to leave an abusive relationship. Lydia’s center is voluntary, meaning people can come and go as they please. Emily’s safe space is a mandatory one, for somewhat obvious reasons.
The link between the two internships is working with predominantly African American youth 4-24. At both sites, boys were demonstrating externalized behaviors as opposed to girls that internalized behaviors. When exacerbated in various cases, the boys exhibited overly masculine displays as coping mechanisms.
At Lydia’s safe space internship, boys exhibit more verbal aggression. She said that there was a tendency of the more feminine boys having sharper tongues. Lydia said this was likely due to their belief that it is important to have a sharp tongue and quick feet as a defense since there is not much brute force that they could put forth. The boys that Emily works with mimic behaviors that were violent and aggressive, most likely because the heaviest imprint of behavior is from the abuser that the family is attempting to escape.
Common expectations of masculinity include heterosexuality, physical strength, athleticism, no showing emotion, as well as being the head of the household.
Lydia and Emily also presented the idea of bullying as a circular system. If a person is bullied, there is a chance that they will go on to bully someone else. Most of the case studies and scholarships that they reviewed were overly deterministic. These documentations ignored the fact that people needed outlets that were catered more towards them racially and in terms of gender. The decrease of bullying in both places is something that the both of them are currently working on. One instance is providing self-expression through outlets such as art and music.