Crimes Against Nature, Fredericksburg, VA
Note: Crimes Against Nature debuted in 1998 and toured to more than 200 campuses and other venues before Dr. Kilmartin retired the performance in 2004.
Contact Name: Chris Kilmartin
Phone Number: (540) 654-1562
E-mail: [email protected]
Key Words: (1) Mixed gender; (2) college age; (3) primarily white population; (4) university setting; (5) theatrical performance
This program is geared toward college-aged men and women. Universities typically contract with Dr. Kilmartin to provide the program to classes or buy the video to use. In an average year, Dr. Kilmartin conducts 15 shows. A typical audience is usually about 150 people, so the program is delivered to approximately 2,250 people per year.
Medium used to convey message
The program is a 65-minute “one-man” theatrical performance used to educate college students about masculine psychology. Dr. Kilmartin emphasizes the gendered aspects of sexual assault and men’s special role in prevention.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
The goal of the program is to begin conversations about difficult issues surrounding masculinity today, which provides the context for sexual assault and substance abuse.
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
The program is based on scientific research on the psychology of men, drawing from the literature regarding men, men’s health, violence, sexual violence, and masculinity. The presentation is centered around Dr. Kilmartin’s personal experiences and universal themes. Dr. Kilmartin recounts his own personal journey through childhood, adolescence, and manhood and uses humor to point out the many demands society places on males.
Level of evaluation
Dr. Kilmartin has been delivering these programs since 1998. He analyzed data from a research project conducted about the play. The analysis took a sample of general psychology students and gave them a survey that asked them to rate the ideal man, ideal woman, most men, most women, and the self on several dimensions (this survey was administered 3 weeks prior to the performances). Half of the group was randomly assigned to see the show and the other half served as controls. The same survey was administered to both groups after the show. Those who saw the show were significantly more likely to expand their view of the ideal man to include more traditionally feminine characteristics (gentleness, nurturing, caring, etc.). One of the most reliable indicators of sexual assault perpetration is a negative attitude toward women.
Dr. Kilmartin is the only staff member. The only contextual or political issue that he confronts is having the perspective of a white, middle-aged, middle- class, heterosexual male.