The Men’s Project recently collaborated with leading girls’ rights agency Plan International Australia and Promundo, a global leader in engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality and preventing violence, to produce a guide for parents to help boys embrace healthy, positive masculinity.
The guide offers parents nine simple, practical tips to talk to their sons about healthy masculinity, and encourage positive beliefs and behaviours from an early age, including: how parents can use play to define positive values, challenge gender stereotypes, be clear about consent and more.
Matt Tyler, Executive Director of The Men’s Project, said about the relevance of such a resource: “Our Man Box research, published last year, found that two thirds of young men said that since they were a boy they had been told a ‘real man’ behaves in a certain way. Women suffer in a world where men feel pressure to be a certain kind of man – and it’s also bad for men. We found men who personally endorse stereotypical masculine norms are more likely to sexually harass women, have had recent thoughts of suicide and use or experience physical violence.”
The Men’s Project aims to build positive social change around what it means to be a man today to reduce violence and other harmful behaviours prevalent among boys and men and to improve their wellbeing and relationships.
“We all have a role to play in shaping community attitudes towards gender equality and eliminating violence against women, and this begins with promoting positive role modelling and beliefs from when children are young so that our boys are free from the expectations of what it means to be a ‘real man’ and can be their best selves.”
Nine ways to encourage healthy masculinity
Download the tip sheet Raising sons to embrace healthy, positive masculinity.