Recent years have seen growing conversations about what it means to be a man in the UK and across the globe. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen an exacerbation of domestic abuse and other forms of violence. This, together with the murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and many other women in the UK, and the subsequent ‘Everyone’s Invited’ campaign, have demonstrated that we need to be doing much more to prevent men’s violence against women.

They have also highlighted that men and boys have a vital part to play in speaking out about this violence, and building gender equality – in their own lives and in wider society. Most violence and abuse is perpetrated by men, which is in turn rooted in harmful ideas about masculinity, and in men continuing to hold most power across society. This also means that men are uniquely placed to stop this violence from happening in the first place, and to promote gender justice amongst one another.

Men, Masculinities and Social Change is a website created by a team of researchers at the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) at Durham University, to shine a light on the research we are conducting on these issues, and on work being done by and with men and boys in the UK and beyond. It is aimed at anyone interested in finding out more about men’s role in speaking out against violence towards women and for gender equality, and how to engage more in taking action.

Our research and that of others demonstrates that at the heart of this violence lies entrenched expectations about what it means to be a man and how men should act. We therefore focus not only on preventing violence, but also on broader issues connected to men, masculinity, and gender, such as how masculine norms – e.g. “be tough, self-reliant, don’t show weakness” – can hold back men’s own health and wellbeing, and their capacity to care for others.

Who we are

Click on the links below to find out more about the researchers behind Men, Masculinities and Social Change.