The Men’s Project aims to support boys and men to live respectful, accountable and fulfilling lives free from violence and other harmful behaviour through new approaches that improve men and boys wellbeing so that we see more good men, respectful relationships and safe communities.
Unpacking the Man Box
Unpacking the Man Box is based on a survey of 1,000 young Australian men aged 18 to 30. The report builds on the findings of The Men’s Project’s 2018 reportThe Man Box.
The initial Man Box report found that young Australian men who believe in outdated masculine stereotypes were themselves at higher risk of using violence, online bullying and sexual harassment, engaging in risky drinking and reporting poorer levels of mental health.
The new study finds young Australian men’s belief in rigid masculine stereotypes has a stronger impact on whether they will use violence, sexually harass women, or experience mental ill-health themselves, than other factors including their education levels, where they live or their cultural heritage.
The Man Box research
Led by The Men’s Project at Jesuit Social Services, The Man Box is the first comprehensive study that focuses on the attitudes to manhood and the behaviours of young Australian men aged 18 to 30.
Our research found that men in the Man Box experience negative life outcomes themselves and they’re more likely to engage in behaviour that harms others. Men in the Man Box (top quintile) are 20 times more likely to sexually harass a woman, six times more likely to use physical violence and more than twice as likely to experience suicidal thoughts.
Men must be part of the solution to gendered violence
There is not sufficient focus on the underlying drivers of sexual assault, harassment and other types of violence. Instead of people reverting to phrases like ‘boys will be boys’ to explain or excuse a hurtful comment or action, as a society we must do more to understand where these behaviours originate and work to prevent them.
The Men’s Project is working to promote positive and healthy masculinities to reduce violence and other harmful behaviours prevalent among boys and men. We do this through:
We have surveyed over 2,000 men and boys through our Man Box researchto understand perspectives on what it means to be a “real man” and the impact of stereotypical masculine norms on their lives.
Our Man Box research findings have been shared with thousands of people with coverage in mainstream media, influencing community understanding of the impact of stereotypical masculine norms
We have engaged with over 500boys and men across schools and workplaces to raise awareness of Man Box rules and their impact on behaviours including the use of violence and mental health.
The Man Box research has informed VicHealth’s Healthier Masculinities framework and featured prominently in OurWatch’s Men in Focus report.
We have developed and implemented an evidence-based program – Modelling Respect and Equality (MoRE) to produce a shift in stereotypical masculine norms.
MoRE has equipped over 100 role models – teachers, sports coaches and social workers to decrease adherence to stereotypical masculine norms with the men and boys they work with.
We have designed and are in the early stages of piloting early intervention programs for boys with behavioural challenges at two primary schools and adolescents who have used violence at home in both Victoria and New South Wales.