The Man Box

The Man Box is a 15-item self-report measure of an individual man's gender normative attitudes, separated into 7 pillars: Self-Sufficiency, Acting Tough, Physical Attractiveness, Rigid Masculine Gender Roles, Heterosexuality and Homophobia, Hypersexuality, and Aggression and Control. The measure captures whether the respondent strongly internalizes societal masculine norms ("inside the Man Box") or internalizes more equitable gender attitudes ("outside the Man Box").


Geographies Tested: Mexico,United Kingdom,United States of America

Populations Included: Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


In my opinion...

Pillar 1: Self-sufficiency
1. A man who talks a lot about his worries, fears, and problems shouldn't really get respect
2. Men should figure out their personal problems on their own without asking others for help

Pillar 2: Acting Tough
3. A guy who doesn't fight back when others push him around is weak
4. Guys should act strong even if they feel scared or nervous inside

Pillar 3: Physical Attractiveness
5. A guy who spends a lot of time on his looks isn't very manly

Pillar 4: Rigid Masculine Gender Roles
6. It is not good for a boy to be taught how to cook, sew, clean the house, and take care of younger children
7. A husband shouldn't have to do household chores
8. Men should really be the ones to bring money home to provide for their families, not women

Pillar 5: Heterosexuality and Homophobia
9. A gay guy is not a "real man"
10. Straight guys being friends with gay guys is totally fine and normal (positive statement)

Pillar 6: Hypersexuality
11. A "real man" should have as many sexual partners as he can
12. A "real man" would never say no to sex

Pillar 7: Aggression and Control
13. Men should use violence to get respect, if necessary
14. A man should always have the final say about decisions in his relationship or marriage
15. If a guy has a girlfriend or wife, he deserves to know where she is all the time

Response Options:
Strongly agree -1
Agree - 2
Disagree - 3
Strongly disagree - 4

Scoring Procedures

Not Applicable

Original Citation

Heilman, B., Barker, G., & Harrison, A. (2017). The Man Box: A Study on Being a Young Man in the US, UK, and Mexico. Washington, D.C. and London: Promundo-US and Unilever.

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Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








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