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Unpacking the Man Box

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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The initial Man Box report found that young Australian men who believe in outdated masculine stereotypes were themselves at higher risk of using violence, online bullying and sexual harassment, engaging in risky drinking and reporting poorer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.

Unpacking the Man Box finds men’s adherence to outdated attitudes to gender is over:

  • 25 times more accurate than a range of demographic variables in predicting the use of physical violence, sexual harassment, verbal bullying and cyber bullying
  • 22 times more accurate in predicting the experience of physical violence, verbal bullying and cyber bullying
  • 11 times more accurate than demographics at predicting very risky drinking; and
  • 10 times more accurate than demographics at predicting negative feelings and emotions

The report includes a range of recommendations to support young men to break free of the man box, live healthy lives and be their best selves.

Unpacking the Man Box is produced by Jesuit Social Services’ The Men’s Project and Dr Michael Flood, Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology, with funding from VicHealth.

Download the full report: Unpacking the Man Box: What is the impact of the Man Box attitudes on young Australian men’s behaviours and wellbeing?