For some men, making jokes and comments that reinforce the idea that women should be less powerful than them is a way of bonding and gaining the approval and respect of their peers.
When aggression and disrespect towards women are seen as part of being ‘one of the boys’, it is more likely that violence towards women will be excused.
What are the solutions?
Teach boys and men how to recognise, understand and challenge harmful expressions of masculinity and male privilege in their own lives, and in their peer groups.
Counter the constructions of masculinity as dominant, aggressive, controlling or hypersexual in both public and private life, and within media and popular culture.
Address homophobia as an expression of masculinity at an individual, relationship, peer, organisational and institutional level.
Promote representations of men and boys that model respectful, fair, ethical, safe, supportive, equitable behaviours within relationships, to normalise these behaviours for men.
Ensure prevention activities include an explicit focus on addressing dominant forms of masculinity and engaging men and boys to prevent violence against women.
Work with boys and young men to challenge norms around sexual entitlement and dominance, hypersexuality and the influence of pornography, and build understanding of consent, agency, mutual pleasure and power.
Men in focus: unpacking masculinities and engaging men in the prevention of violence against women is an extensive evidence review about links between dominant forms of masculinity and violence against women.