The “Man Box”: Helping Young Men Change

Posted: September 17, 2011 in At-risk kids, Education, Gender issues, Stereotypes, Urban Culture

In my years of teaching young men locked up in the county pen it was easy to see how the pressures of “being a man,” especially a man in the ‘hood, had devastating effects on these teens. In some cases the “man box”–the load of gender stereotypes that these young guys were born into–helped put these young offenders in jail.The lack of role models, mentors who could show them another way of navigating the world, just made it more difficult to do the right thing. I recommend checking out Amil Cook’s blog at  with an  interesting video of a talk done by Tony Porter addressing these issues from a very personal point of view. If you know any young men coming up in the world you might want to share it with them.


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