The notion of the ‘Man Box’ names influential and restrictive norms of manhood. The ‘Act Like a Man’ box or ‘Man Box’ has been a common teaching tool in efforts over the past three decades to engage men and boys in critical reflections on men and gender (Kivel, 2007). The ‘box’ names the qualities men are expected to show, the rewards they earn for doing so, and the punishments they are dealt if they step ‘outside’ the box. It emphasises that these dominant standards are restrictive and limiting for men, as well as harmful for women. Individual qualities in the Man Box are not necessarily bad, and indeed some may be useful or desirable in some contexts. On the other hand, some of the qualities are negative in themselves, the range of qualities available to men is narrow, and men are expected not to deviate from them. The Man Box norms also sustain forms of privilege or unfair advantage for men, and men’s attitudes and behaviours that underpin inequality between men and women. The reference to ‘acting like a man’ makes the point that masculinity is a ‘performance’, a set of qualities and behaviours practised in particular contexts.
In 2013, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University conducted an initial review of recent literature and programs on male engagement in sexual and reproductive health. The review showed that the practice of engaging men in sexual and reproductive health programs is not yet clearly defined, and evidence of its effectiveness is still accumulating.
Unmet sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs are a critical threat to the health of individuals worldwide, and gender inequalities remain a significant barrier to addressing such health issues. Harmful gender norms and attitudes influence men’s and women’s health and well-being, shaping men’s behaviors in ways that have a direct impact on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of their partners, their families, and themselves. At the same time, SRH and family planning issues are often treated as women’s responsibility.
Meaningful engagement with men and boys is increasingly recognized as critical to gender equality and equity, necessary not only for women’s empowerment, but also for transforming the social and gender norms that reinforce patriarchy and inequality and harm both women and men. The primary challenge embedded in this work is how to engage men and boys effectively without instrumentalizing them as a pathway to women’s empowerment on the one hand, or marginalizing women and girls in gender equity work on the other.
Men’s rights advocates (MRAs) and anti-feminist men’s groups claim that men now are the victims in our society, of both women and feminism. MRAs claim that men’s health is a particularly important area of male disadvantage, that men’s health issues and shorter life spans are evidence of discrimination and oppression faced by men, and that women’s health receives unfair levels of attention and funding compared to men’s health. These claims are false. Instead;
Most occupational injuries, and the great majority of occupational deaths, are among men. In Australia, males comprise 96% of workplace fatalities (Safe Work Australia 2015), and 61% of workplace injuries or illnesses (ABS 2014).
Men's occupational deaths and injuries are shaped by masculinity - by traditional masculine norms of risk-taking, stoicism, independence, and so on. In this XY collection, we feature key research articles on this area.
Males have rates of completed suicide several times those of females. Male suicide is shaped in part by constructions of masculinity, as a range of studies have documented. Here, we have collected key studies and reports on male suicide.
Also see the academic references listed here: http://www.xyonline.net/content/g-suicide
Additions are most welcome.
What are the best practices to promote men’s involvement in SRH while simultaneously promoting gender equality? This report argues that engaging men in SRH and gender equality can lead to better SRH outcomes for men and women, and prevent reinforcing male power over reproductive and sexual decision-making. A conceptual model that can be used for programming, monitoring and evaluation to engage men in SRH and gender equality including men as clients, partners and agents of positive change is provided.
The authors provide development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and documentation guidelines to effectively adapt this model to one’s local context, which include the questions that should be asked, the solutions necessary, the types of actions that should be prioritised, and scenarios following the various levels of male involvement among individuals, groups and communities. The report also provides a range of activities that an organisation could use to engage men in SRH along components of the model, as well as who and what resources are needed to do so.
This resource is a guide for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and governments to support the review and updating of existing policies to ensure they fully engage men and boys in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV/AIDS.