The Man Box 2024

A comprehensive study that focuses on the attitudes to manhood and the behaviours of Australian men aged 18 to 45


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The Man Box 2024

Published in 2024, this second edition of The Man Box is a comprehensive study that focuses on the attitudes to manhood and the behaviours of Australian men aged 18 to 45.

Video – The Man Box 2024


The Man Box report finds that the pressures relating to being a man are everywhere in society and are reinforced and influenced by men’s closest relationships – families, partners and friends.

Across all levels of society there must be a focus on building awareness of the Man Box norms and their harmful impacts. Positive alternatives should be promoted.

Everyone can take action by talking about the pressures of the Man Box with the boys and men in their lives, and by modelling positive alternatives to the Man Box norms in front of boys and young men.

We recommend action across a range of levels, from government to business, to community and academia to develop and test new approaches to these issues with young men. We also recommend further research to understand these issues in more detail.

Key findings

The Man Box is alive and well in Australia today. A significant minority of young men agree there are social pressures on them to behave or act a certain way because of their gender.

  • 36 per cent of men aged 18-45 felt social pressure to follow the Man Box rules
  •  24 per cent of men aged 18-45 personally believed in the Man Box rules

The majority of young men surveyed disagreed with the Man Box beliefs. But there is still a large number who agree with some of the beliefs that make up the Man Box, including being strong, not showing vulnerability, always being in control and men being the primary providers at home.

Living up to the pressures of being a ‘real man’ causes harm to young men and those around them, particularly women. For example:

The men who most strongly agreed with the Man Box rules were*:

  • 31 times more likely to believe domestic violence should be handled privately
  • 17 times more likely to have hit their partner
  • 9 times more likely to blame a woman for making a man hit her
  • 8 times more likely have thoughts of suicide nearly every day
  • 6 times for likely to have forced a partner to do something sexual that is degrading or humiliating
  • 6 times more likely to exhibit signs of problem gambling (in fact, more than half of the men who most strongly agreed with Man Box rules met the criteria for problem gambling); and
  • Twice as likely to binge drink.

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