Engaging Men and Boys in the Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence (book chapter)

Engaging men and boys is a key strategy for preventing the perpetration of sexual violence. Whilst prevention efforts among men and boys are growing, they remain limited in scope and scale. The evidence base for the effectiveness of sexual violence prevention work with men and boys is also small, although increasing rapidly, and shows mixed impacts. The chapter argues that it is necessary for prevention initiatives to place a greater focus on the structural and cultural factors contributing to sexual violence. It considers three core principles for engaging men and boys effectively: that this work should be rooted in feminism, committed to enhancing boys’ and men’s lives, and intersectional. Key debates, tensions and challenges for the field are assessed, including: how best to approach men and masculinities in sexual violence prevention work; whether it is more useful to focus on sexual violence or all forms of violence; how to shift norms of male sexuality; the tensions of addressing differences and inequalities among men; and the increasing need to take sexual violence prevention work online. The chapter concludes that feminist social movements such as #MeToo illustrate the importance of engaging more men and boys in ending sexual violence.


To download the chapter in PDF, click here.

To buy the whole book, Rape: Challenging Contemporary Thinking – 10 Years On, go here.


Flood, M., & Burrell, S. (2022). Engaging Men and Boys in the Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence. In M. Horvath & J. Brown (Eds.), Rape: Challenging Contemporary Thinking. Routledge, pp. 221-235.