Questioning gender norms with men to improve health outcomes: evidence of impact

Glob Public Health. 2010;5(5):539-53. doi: 10.1080/17441690902942464.


This article describes a review of 58 evaluation studies of programmes with men and boys in sexual and reproductive health (including HIV prevention, treatment, care and support); father involvement; gender-based violence; maternal, newborn and child health; and gender socialisation more broadly. While few of the programmes go beyond the pilot stage, or a relatively short-term timeframe, they offer compelling evidence that well-designed programmes with men and boys can lead to positive changes in their behaviours and attitudes related to sexual and reproductive health; maternal, newborn and child health; their interaction with their children; their use of violence against women; their questioning of violence with other men; and their health-seeking behaviour. The evidence indicates that programmes that incorporate a gender-transformative approach and promote gender-equitable relationships between men and women are more effective in producing behaviour change than narrowly focused interventions, as are programmes which reach beyond the individual level to the social context.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Fathers
  • Gender Identity*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paternal Behavior
  • Reproductive Medicine*
  • Sex Education / methods*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Stereotyping
  • Violence
  • Young Adult