Usually we as a society assume that the burden of preventing rape, domestic violence, and dating violence largely falls on the shoulders of women and girls. Men are often at a loss as to how they can play a positive part in stopping sexual violence.
Primary prevention offers men a positive role to play. Put simply, this public health approach is about stopping the violence before it starts. End goals include not only healthy relationships but also healthy communities. In a healthy community the well-being and safety of all its members is of central importance. Gender-based violence, racist violence, and gay bashing destroy a community's health.
From Men Can Stop Rape's perspective, healthy masculinity supports the traits of healthy communities. Some of the principles MCSR considers integral to healthy masculinity are:
• Recognizing unhealthy aspects of masculinity
• Empathizing with others
• Supporting gender equity and other forms of equity
• Replacing risky and violent masculine attitudes and behaviors with behaviors
• Learning skills to constructively challenge unhealthy masculine attitudes and
Engaging men to participate in the creation of a culture of primary prevention within their community requires a parallel process of building and supporting healthy masculinity.