The Government has announced a program to crack down on toxic male culture, and help young men develop ‘positive masculinity’.
It follows concerns about the influence of misogynistic online personalities, such as Andrew Tate, who has perpetuated violence against women.
A recent survey of high school students in Victoria and NSW found 25% of teenage boys look up to Tate, who had his Instagram shut down by Meta in August 2022.
Over three years, the program will teach school-aged boys as young as five how to build “healthy, respectful relationships”.
It aims to educate boys about healthy masculinity and to debunk harmful ideas perpetuated online, such as attitudes of male gender superiority.
The Government gave examples of in-person discussions in places like sports clubs, as well as messaging on social media to promote these messages.
Domestic violence in Australia
The trial forms part of the Government’s 10-year plan to end violence against women and children in a generation.
One in three Australian women over 15 have experienced violence. Young women (18-34) are three times more likely than older women to have experienced intimate partner violence in the last 12 months.
The project is aimed at ending violence against women and
children within one generation.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said research shows “strong links between harmful forms of masculinity and the perpetration of violence against women”.
“Educating boys about healthy masculinity and providing them with positive role models are important steps to ending cycles of violence.”
The program will roll out from next year.