Brief on Sports and the Making of Men

Transforming Gender Norms on the Playing Field

Author: Michael Kaufman with input from Omar Robles, Gary Barker, Dean Peacock, Joseph Vess and UNFPA staff Luis Mora and Leyla Sharafi, and colleagues on the MenEngage Steering Committee.
No. of pages: 12
Publication date: 2014
Publisher: UNFPA-MenEngage
Available languages: English
Download PDF

This MenEngage-UNFPA advocacy brief explores ideas on how to transform sport - an important part of the lives of most boys and many men - to encourage gender equitable attitudes and behaviors, to end harmful forms of masculinity, and to transform masculinity in positive ways. This brief has three parts. The first part examines "The History of Sport and the Making of Men," examines why and how sport has taken a central role in men's conceptions of masculinity. The second part looks at "How Sport Constructs Manhood and its Impact on Men and Boys," explores the potential positive and negative effects of sport, including its influence on violence, homophobia, and emotional and physical well-being. The last section focuses on "Recommendations for Policy and Sport Practices," provides advice to policymakers and program staff on how to harness the positive and transformative aspects of sport in the lives of men and boys.