The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World
The University of Texas at Austin Division of Student Affairs

voices against violence

MasculinUT Project Goals and Guiding Principles


  1. Promote an ethic of care for men and masculine-identified individuals who cannot escape expectations of masculinity: MasculinUT works to understand how men and masculine-identified students are impacted and hurt by restrictive masculinity, and explore how we as a university community are all accountable for the development of healthy messages about masculinities on campus.

  2. Encourage a wider range of acceptable emotions expressed by men and masculine-identified students: through multifaceted communication and programming, we aim to address frustration and anger that can result from a restrictive model of masculinity, and support men and masculine-identified students in their expression of a diverse range of emotions.

  3. Decrease excessive competition and increase empathy: Violence between men and masculine-identified individuals and against women can stem from a perceived need to prove masculinity. Excessive competition among men and the exclusion of women, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender men and women, and gender-expansive students becomes a de facto way to appear manly. Exclusionary behavior is sustained when men and masculine-identified individuals do not develop empathy or are encouraged to not have empathy. We encourage men and masculine-identified students to care about themselves and others.

  4. Educate students to focus on inclusivity, diversity and empowerment: We aim to shift campus culture so that students can take control of their lives and their bodies/identities by choosing how to participate in the production of masculinities (which includes identifying and choosing not to engage in unhealthy behavior such as aggression toward others, entitlement to sexual attention and high-risk drinking). Healthy masculinities are plural and promote a culture of inclusion. We aim to educate students about the diversity of masculinities so that they accept themselves and others.

  5. Cultivate healthy sexuality and healthy relationships (respect for women, female-identified students and femininity): all of the skills from the first four goals culminate with learning how to sustain healthy relationships with friends and romantic/sexual partners. Healthy masculinities are a key component in the prevention of interpersonal violence, including relationship violence, sexual violence and stalking.

Nurturing healthy masculinities begins with recognizing that some gender expressions (such as exclusionary attitudes or violence) are unhealthy and we need to work together to transform them. Embodying healthy masculinities means working toward gender equity, eliminating homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and undoing racism, ableism and other forms of discrimination and bias. Finally, healthy masculinities are not just a choice that students who want to identify as masculine make. It is the responsibility of students of all gender identities to support healthy gender expressions and not punish students for expressing emotions and engaging in ethics of care.

Guiding Principles

  • We recognize there is no singular masculinity.

  • We recognize a distinction between assigned or biological sex and gender expressions and identity.

  • We recognize that even though the vast majority of interpersonal violence is committed by men, this does not mean most men are violent.

  • We recognize that restrictive masculinities are connected to negative consequences for men and masculine-identified individuals and are key risk factors for interpersonal violence.

  • We recognize that healthy masculinities are not the absence of femininity.

  • We recognize that people of all genders are impacted by cultures that promote messages of restrictive masculinities and all have a stake in healthy masculinities.

  • We recognize masculinity is expressed and therefore should be examined in relation to other social, cultural and political identities. Learn more about these intersections here.

  • We recognize privilege and oppression impacts experiences and expressions of masculinities.

  • We recognize the foundational work of feminist scholars to examine gender, masculinities, misogyny, rape culture, patriarchy and power.

  • We recognize that cultural change and social justice takes time and resilience.

  • We recognize it is essential to hold all leaders and participants in VAV and MasculinUT programming accountable for practicing consent, respect and healthy boundaries.

  • We recognize it is critical to share our approach, findings and practices to contribute to the national movement to end interpersonal violence.

  • We recognize this work requires a robust practice of collective and self-care.

voices against violence masculinut healthy masculinities project

About MasculinUT
Project Goals and Guiding Principles
Why does UT Austin need MasculinUT?
Campus Partners
Previous Events
What do Healthy Masculinities Look Like?
What is Restrictive Masculinity?
Masculinity and the Intersections of Social, Cultural and Political Identities
Poster Campaign
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UT Counseling and Mental Health Center

UT Counseling and Mental Health Center Voices Against Violence
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The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World