Definition of a “REAL MAN” is changing for the better

Happy Pride Month from Joyful Heart

Last week, Joyful Heart released our latest research report, “Defining Manhood for the Next Generation: Exploring Young Men’s Perceptions of Gender Roles and Violence.”

Funded by the Verizon Foundation and conducted by GfK Custom Research, the research examines young men and boys’ perceptions of norms around masculinity, gender equality, and sexual violence and the male role models who influence those views. The report is now available on our website; I hope you will read it and share it.

The good news is young men surveyed in the study unanimously agree that “real men” treat women with respect. However, many young men agree with outdated and dangerous societal norms—and far too many of them refuse to push back against these norms. Changing these views about gender, gender roles, sex, and sexual assault present our biggest challenge to catalyzing a cultural shift.

Men and boys play a critical role in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence. While deep cultural change cannot happen overnight, it cannot happen at all until young men stand against outdated, sexist beliefs about gender and violence. Over the next few months, Joyful Heart will use these findings to create educational materials promoting aspirational, authentic, and intersectional views of healthy masculinity.

Best regards,

Sarah Haacke Byrd
Managing Director
Joyful Heart Foundation
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