Peninsula communities ready to challenge outdated stereotypes

Published on 04 March 2021

Mornington Peninsula communities ready to challenge outdated stereotypes.jpg

AFL footballer Josh Kennedy will talk to Mornington Peninsula residents about the pressures young men face living up to outdated rules of manhood as part of a webinar this month. 
The free webinar hosted by Mornington Peninsula Shire will explore the high rates of anxiety and depression experienced by men and boys in our community and the benefits of supporting young boys to question gender stereotypes.
New research shows how outdated ideas of being ‘a real man’ not only lead to increased aggressive and controlling behaviour towards others, but also contributes to reduced physical and mental health for men and boys themselves. According to Victorian Population Health Survey 2017, nearly 20 per cent of men on the Mornington Peninsula have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression.
The Man Box Study conducted by The Men’s Project Jesuit Social Services highlights the pressures young men still feel to act tough, be self-sufficient and live up to rigid gender roles despite most men not agreeing with this outdated view of manhood.
Australian researchers have found people who struggle to break free of the ‘man box’ are at a higher risk of suicide, traffic accidents, risk-taking behaviours (such as drink driving), being a victim or perpetrator of violence, including violence and sexual harassment of women and girls.
We have partnered with VicHealth, Family Life and Jesuit Social Services to deliver a webinar to unpack the Man Box study, explore the social pressures on men and boys and how we can work together to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.

As part of the webinar our guest speaker Josh Kennedy will share his experiences as a dad, husband, son and AFL footballer and the impact the Man Box has had upon him. 
The free webinar is open for all to attend, and is perfect for parents, teachers, sports coaches and anyone who cares about the health and wellbeing young boys in our community.
Join us on 24 March 2021 at 6.30 – 8pm and learn how to engage and empower men and boys to break free from outdated ideas of masculinity.
Registration link:
Quote attributable to Mayor Councillor Despi O’Connor:
“We all want young boys in our community to have freedom to develop their own unique personalities and interests without the pressures of rigid gender roles.
“Most people think it’s important for men to share their emotions when times are tough, but this research shows 54 per cent of young men still feel under pressure to solve their problems without asking for help.
“As a Council we have a responsibility to lead change and make sure we support our local community by looking after their mental health and wellbeing”.

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