Breaking Free From Boyhood Stereotypes: Action Steps for Parents and Content Creators

“Breaking Free From Boyhood Stereotypes: Action Steps for Parents and Content Creators” was developed by Promundo in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University and the Kering Foundation, in collaboration with Scholars & Storytellers, and Plan International USA. 

Boys receive — and absorb — harmful stereotypical messages about what it takes to “be a man” from an early age: 72% of young men in the US say they’ve been told that a real man behaves a “certain way”—they are self-sufficient, tough, stoic, attractive without effort, a risk-taker, and straight.  If boys embrace these ideas, it can have long-term impacts: they may be less likely to have close, emotionally connected relationships; and more likely to have poorer mental health and to use violence later in life. 

This tip sheet provides recommendations for content creators and parents on how to play a role in creating a gender equal, nonviolent future – and how to model vulnerability, connection, and respectful relationships, on and off screen.

Read the report, “If He Can See It, Will He Be It? Representations of Masculinity in Boys’ Television,” here.

Learn more about the Global Boyhood Initiative here.