Man-Box: Men and Masculinity in Jamaica

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Levtov, Ruti;
Telson, Laurence
Mar 2021
Hunter, Leslie
The findings of the Man Box Jamaica study highlight that the Man Boxa set of socially reinforced rules about what “real men” should dois alive and well in Jamaica. Being inside the Man Box causes young men and others around them real harm, specifically in terms of violence and mental health. Men who live inside the Man Box appear to feel significantly less in control of their livesin terms of both everyday activities and larger life decisions. Not expressing emotions and being self-reliant are core elements of the Man Boxs pillars of perceived self-sufficiency and toughness. Consistent with previous Man Box studies conducted elsewhere, the findings show that young men in Jamaica reap certain benefits from staying inside the Man Box: it provides them with a sense of belonging and of living up to what is expected of them. However, when those same norms tell men to be aggressive all the time and to repress emotions, the Man Box demands that they pretend to be someone they are not, and the resulting life can be violent and isolating.