Why Men & Boys? - Overview
Current prevention strategies typically address women and girls as victims or potential victims and portray men as perpetrators or potential perpetrators. Often the focus is on how women and girls can avoid abuse by boyfriends or husbands or sexual assault by strangers or acquaintances. While this work is valuable, these are risk-reduction, not prevention strategies: they teach women and girls how to avoid victimization, but they don’t work to reduce the number of men who use violence.
We need more strategies that get to the roots of gender-based violence. Strategies that look closely at the roles and responsibilities of men and boys. Strategies that challenge cultural norms and the institutions that reinforce rape, battering, and sexist attitudes. Strategies that examine how gender-based violence connects with gender socialization—and strategies that offer healthy ways to raise boys and girls to be men and women.
Although many men are not violent toward women, most have not been offered the opportunity to join prevention efforts. Many don’t recognize their own responsibility and ability to help. And men may not realize that ending gender-based violence will have direct benefits for them, their families, and their communities. This needs to change. Men’s participation is essential if we are to progress from helping some people avoid violence to actually ending it.
Get definitions of gender-based violence and other key terms.
Recommended Reading, Read additional articles on why work with men and boys for violence prevention.
In Our Own Words, Read what a range of men think about why it is important to work with men and boys.
See and print the Top Ten Reasons to Work with Men & Boys page.
Last modified 2004-10-19 08:02 PM