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Promote change at the society-wide and community levels beyond just the individual level

Last edited: October 30, 2010

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Based on the ecological model, targeting boys’ and men’s individual behaviour alone will produce limited results. It is important that interventions target the context that they live in by addressing individuals, relationships, social institutions, gatekeepers, community leaders and others.

Men (young and older) who have rejected violence against women and demonstrated resistance to traditional ideas of gender have often had family members, peers or other males around them who have modelled gender-equitable attitudes and behaviours (Barker, 2007).

Masculinities can also be understood at the collective level, as expressed through institutions (e.g. commercial sports), social groups (e.g. friendship networks) and shared cultural forms (e.g. mass media) and not just at the individual level. These social groups may make it challenging for an individual who wants to transform (Connell 2007) unless they too are part of the broader intervention.

Promoting change at the society-wide and community levels can therefore provide a social context that supports and reinforces positive change in individuals.