The Man Box: A study on being a young man in Australia is the first comprehensive study that focuses on the attitudes to manhood and the behaviours of young Australian men aged 18 to 30. It involved an online survey of a representative sample of 1,000 young men from across the country, as well as focus group discussions with two groups of young men. This study is modelled on research in the United States, United Kingdom and Mexico that was released by Promundo in 2017.
The findings shed a new light on the social pressures that young Australian men experience to be a ‘real man’ and the impact this can have on their wellbeing, behaviours and the safety of our wider community.
The pressures relating to being a man are everywhere in society and are reinforced and influenced by young 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.
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