What Is The ‘Man Box’ And Do You Want To Be In It?

(stock image via Depositphotos)

A new study (published today in Preventative Medicine) found those men who hold more rigid beliefs about masculinity – including attitudes about acting tough, hypersexuality and homophobia – also tend toward bullying, sexual harassment, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital based their study on the “Man Box” report from 2017 conducted by Promundo, a global consortium that works to promote gender equality.

In the 1980s, activist Paul Kivel developed the “Act Like a Man Box” as a way to help men discuss how society can place pressures on men to act a certain way. Men “in the Man Box” are those who most internalize messages of having to ‘be tough’ in life or being hyper-dominant in sexual roles. Young men “outside the Man Box” are those who have broken out of the box and reject these ideas.

Dr. Robert Coulter, one of the new study’s co-authors, told Business Insider that for the purposes of their study, the “man box” is defined as a “rigid set of beliefs that men have to ascribe to in order to be a proper man.”

The 3,600+ male participants, aged 18-30, in the U.S., Mexico, and the U.K. were asked to rank on a scale of 1 to 4 (from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”) 15 statements regarding attitudes on self-sufficiency, hypersexuality, sexual prowess, gender roles, and homophobia.

Some of the statements included:

• “It is not good for a boy to be taught how to cook, sew, clean the house and take care of younger children”

• “Men should use violence to get respect, if necessary”

• “A ‘real man’ would never say no to sex”

• “A guy who spends a lot of time on his looks isn’t very manly”

The researchers found higher scores on the “man box” scale often indicated higher levels of verbal, online, or physical bullying as well as sexual harassment.

Additionally, men who landed higher on the “man box” scale were twice as likely to admit experiencing depression and/or suicidal thoughts.

The five statements that had the strongest associations with violence and poor mental health were:

1. A man shouldn’t have to do household chores.
2. Men should use violence to get respect if necessary.
3. A real man should have as many sexual partners as he can.
4. A man who talks a lot about his worries, fears, and problems shouldn’t really get respect.
5. A gay guy is not a “real man.”

In regard to that fourth statement, it makes sense that men who repress or tamp down personal concerns or emotions would be more likely to experience challenges in terms of mental health.

Dr. Coulter told Business Insider his research team was “quite surprised to see harmful masculinity is associated with negative outcomes (like depression and suicidal thoughts) for the men themselves.”

‘Harmful masculinity,’ sometimes referred to as ‘toxic masculinity,’ can be defined as damaging beliefs that can lead to strict, controlling, heteronormative and violent norms about what constitutes a ‘real man.’

The research team hopes their “man box” scale might be a tool for health care providers and public health workers to help “measure progress toward changing harmful stereotypes and advancing both gender equality and healthier versions of masculinity.”

(source: Business Insider)

Gus Kenworthy & More Clap Back At Toxic Masculinity Trolls Over Gillette Ad

Speaking to Variety, woofy out Olympian Gus Kenworthy shares that he thought more athletes would follow him out of the closet when he famously came out in 2015 via ESPN Magazine:
Gus Kenworthy

After Gillette unveiled its latest ad meant to inspire men to step up as better role models for young boys regarding how to treat women and other men, some far-right loons decided being told to “be the best a man can be” was too tall an order.

Click here to see the video on my original post on the ad.

It’s not unusual for Proctor & Gamble, Gillette’s parent company to advocate on social issues.

Last year, P&G won an Emmy Award for “The Talk,” an ad that featured African-American parents discussing racism with their children.

And other companies have found success wading into social issues.

Last year, Nike put former NLF quarterback Colin Kaepernick front and center for the 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” campaign. The ad spot was targeted at Nike’s prime demographic – younger customers who tend to believe in social justice.

The gamble paid off. While there were some early grumbles on social media, Nike’s CEO, Mark Parker, shared with analysts in September, “We’ve seen record engagement with the brand as part of the campaign.”

Even Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Bernice King, gave the new Gillette ad a thumbs-up.

“This commercial isn’t anti-male,” tweeted the civil rights advocate. “It’s pro-humanity. And it demonstrates that character can step up to change conditions.”

However, some men, who apparently don’t like to be told to stop assaulting women or bullying gay men, are now proposing a boycott of the men’s product company.

And then there’s self-important UK TV personality Piers Morgan, who has his own history of homophobic and transphobic snark.

Morgan claims he spends “$1000s” on Gillette products each year, and his takeaway from the ad was that Gillette “wants every man to take one of their razors & cut off his testicles.” What the hell…?

It seems to me that if you are a man who treats women and other men with respect, there’s really nothing to get upset about, is there?

In any case, lots of level-headed, clear-minded folks have clapped back at the fragile snowflakes.

Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy had a perfectly direct response to the triggered trolls, tweeting, “To anyone who was offended by the Gillette ad that simply implored me not to sexually assault or harass women: f*ck you!”

Bravo, Gus! And there were many, many more who weighed in on the absurdity of the criticism.

Podcast: Chechnya Purges Gays Again; Toxic Masculinity; Adam Lambert in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

In this week’s headlines:  • Chechnya is hunting down LGBTQ folks again  • The American Psychological Association confirms that toxic masculinity is a real thing and its rooted in homophobia  • Wedding fashion giant David’s Bridal features a same-sex couple in their new commercial  • Mutual of Omaha agrees to stop denying coverage to gay men who use PrEP  • Adam Lambert revealed he has a cameo in Bohemian Rhapsody

In this week’s podcast:

• Chechnya is hunting down LGBTQ folks again

• The American Psychological Association confirms that toxic masculinity is a real thing and its rooted in homophobia

• Wedding fashion giant David’s Bridal features a same-sex couple in their new commercial

• Mutual of Omaha agrees to stop denying coverage to gay men who use PrEP

• Adam Lambert revealed he has a cameo in Bohemian Rhapsody


• YouTuber Logan Paul confirms he’s an idiot

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Race Car Driver Lewis Hamilton Shames His 4-Year-Old Nephew For Playing In A Princess Dress

Formula One race car driver Lewis Hamilton stepped in it on Christmas Day when he shamed his nephew for wearing a princess dress.

On a video posted to his Instagram story for his 5.7 million followers, he yelled at the 4-year-old for playing in a princess dress happily waving a wand.

“Why are you wearing a princess dress? Is this what you got for Christmas?” he asked the young boy in the video. “Why did you ask for a princess dress for Christmas?”

When his nephew tells him he’s wearing one because he likes them, Hamilton yells at him.

“Boys don’t wear princess dresses!” he yells.

Folks of the Twitterverse were not having his “toxic masculinity” issues:

Hamilton has since deleted the video and issued this apology: