Positive Masculinity – Everything You Need To Get Started

What is positive masculinity? How do you practice positive masculinity? Where can one find positive masculinity role models? What does it mean to be a “man”? What is the opposite of positive masculinity? If you wonder about positive masculinity and what it is all about, this article can help you answer these and many other questions.

Hi. My Name is Sean Galla, and I am a facilitator for men’s support groups and forums with more than ten years of experience. Part of my job involves teaching men about masculinity and promoting positive masculinity. Learning how to control your masculinity is the best way for any man to become a better man. If you are interested in understanding positive masculinity, you are in the right place.

This article covers everything you need to know to understand positive masculinity.

Avatar photo

Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

What is positive masculinity?

To be able to understand positive masculinity, it is essential first to understand what masculinity in general is.

Also commonly referred to as manhood and manliness, masculinity can be defined as a set of behaviors, roles, and attributes associated with being a male. Masculinity can be toxic or positive.

Toxic masculinity can be defined as a type of male behavior characterized by socially regressive and macho traits that encourage dominant gender norms, homophobia, devaluation of women, domestic violence against women, and other negative masculine traits.

On the other hand, positive masculinity comes from a place of strength, gender equality, and compassion. Some attributes associated with healthy masculinity include emotional awareness, help seeking, presence, grounding, self-love, compassion, and emotional release.

Self-love and compassion are the most crucial pillars when it comes to healthy masculinity. Very few men know how to love and have compassion for themselves. When you learn to love yourself, you find it easier to be present, grounded, and in tune with your emotions. Self-love also makes it easier for you to understand who you are away from what society has taught you. this allows you to enjoy healthy relationships.

When men practice healthy masculinity, they are stable and rooted in their beliefs. When you are well-grounded, you have overflowing self-love and confidence that helps you to remain aware of your true self. When you are grounded, you are not swayed by other men’s way of thinking or acting. Grounding has also been associated with better men’s health.

Why young men Should learn positive masculinity

Young boys and young men need to learn about positive masculinity from a young age. This can be done by creating judgement-free, safe spaces where any young man is allowed to be their authentic self.

The rules of manhood and fragile masculinity often make young people feel unsafe. This causes many young boys to resort to risky behavior to get a sense of belonging and feel like real men. These behaviors put men’s mental health at risk and are a contributing factor to high suicide rates amongst men in the USA, intimate partner violence, and a wide range of mental health issues.

Men practicing healthy masculinity experience emotional awareness. They have control over their emotions and are not afraid of feeling.


From when they were young adults and adult males, men are taught that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. However, when men become aware of their emotions, they are able to experience emotional release in a way that does not have to involve anger outbursts or violence.

The Crowther Centre in Australia defined positive masculinity as “The expression of attitudes and behaviors (character strengths and virtues which any gender might have) that have been embodied and enacted by males for the common good, both individually and for the community.”

According to a systematic review done by Kiselica et al. in 2016, positive masculinity should include behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs in boys and men that are pro-social. This will often result in a noticeable positive consequence for themselves or others.

It is possible to teach and socialize positive masculinity in boys and men. This helps to shift the perception of masculinity, which fosters positive psychology.

How to promote healthy masculinity

Practicing healthy masculinity is essential in the prevention of violence and encouraging equity in society. According to the American Psychological Association, in a society with unhealthy masculinity, men are expected to be successful, strong, dominant, fearless, and emotionless, while women are seen as objects, property for men to own, and of less value than men.

This encourages violence against women and girls. Unhealthy masculinity encourages a heterosexist norm where anyone who fails to conform to it is devalued.  

When toxic masculinity is replaced with healthy masculinity, people are able to build a more sustainable global community.

Some important ways to promote positive masculinity include:

  • Learning to recognize and regulate feelings
  • Embracing psychotherapy
  • Speaking up about your needs and feelings.
  • Discussing gender roles and coming to a mutually beneficial standpoint in relationships.
  • Accepting that people can be different and that this does not make them any less important.
  • Learning to deal with conflict without using aggression.
  • Learning to understand yourself and what you want for yourself.
  • Seeking a deeper male friendship where you can be emotionally vulnerable and authentic.


Positive masculinity begins with you

Rediscover yourself

When growing up, men are taught how to detach from their feelings or emotions. The first step to healthy masculinity is to know who you are. This can be done by expanding your range of interactions to be able to try different ways of being, acting, and feeling without worrying that your value as a man or masculinity will be put into question.

In healthy masculinity, men can cry, hug one another, look at men in the eyes, have doubts, and be afraid. When you can do all these in the presence of other men, the world around you changes.

Find ways to change

Bearing in mind that misogyny affects everyone, men need to take time to identify their privileges while analyzing the limits gender stereotypes place on these privileges. This is the only way to understand how toxic masculinity affects you as an individual and the people around you.

Once you identify the aspects of you that need to change, you can be better and commit to changed behavior.

Find ways to impact the community

Since you now fully understand how masculinity and patriarchy affect your life, you can critically reflect on how this system is presented around you to come up with new ways to address and overcome this form of violence. As you learn how to become a better man, you need to find ways to support young men and boys to end the cycle. You can act as a community promoter of healthy masculinity, where you open safe spaces where young men and boys can engage their families to fight against gender inequality and toxic masculinity.


Helpful positive masculinity initiatives 



This benefit corporation brings men from all walks of life together in a space where they can freely exercise their emotions to lead a fulfilling and successful life. Everyman uses life coaching, events, and retreats as part of their service delivery to allow men to be themselves in a natural habitat.

The Good Men Project


This is a men’s support organization that delivers timely support and articles for men, young and old, about healthy masculinities and guides for a better way of living. They are an excellent resource for men looking to learn about healthy manhood.

Guy Burstein


This is a self-help forum that encourages healing, growth, and transformation. It is specifically created for men who want to achieve a higher sense of self-awareness and anyone looking to learn how to cultivate better personal male relationships or bromance.



Men’s Group is a self-improvement community for guys. We create and facilitate conversations between guys and mentors are interested in personal growth. Through our thriving forums, drop-in groups, and online men’s groups, we create discussions and friendships that help guys grow and give them the social time they want.

Men’s Group is an online-based support group and forum that focuses on men and the needs of men. It offers a platform where men from different parts of the world can come together to discuss everyday issues that affect men, including masculinity.

In the 21st century, men, too, want to be heard, vent, and sometimes show emotions when overwhelmed. MensGroup offers a safe space where men can seek advice, discuss pertinent issues in society, and learn, all while making meaningful friendships.

Whether you need advice on your career or romantic relationship, support to reach a new goal, or making close guy friends, MensGroup is the first place to be.

As an online group, the meetup takes place online through video calls or chat. This allows every male to make good friends, even when they run a busy schedule. It is open to all men from any part of the world.


While there is still much to be done regarding fighting toxic masculinity and promoting positive masculinity, mensgroup.com is committed to supporting and teaching men about men and masculinities while helping them become better, healthier men.