What is positive masculinity?

Positive Masculinity is a perspective that accentuates the strengths and beneficial aspects of a masculine identity.

Put simply, positive masculinity (and healthy masculinity) is the expression of attitudes and behaviours (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.

Positive Masculinity program

The Positive Masculinity (+M) program at Brighton Grammar is an initiative aimed at empowering young men and inspiring them to be connected, authentic and motivated.

It encourages students to explore traditional masculinity stereotypes and develop a better understanding of what it means to be a man.  

The program helps them challenge assumptions around gender roles and think critically about their beliefs, values and behaviours.  

By providing a safe space for discussion and learning, the +M program allows students to make positive changes in their lives and develop the important skills of communication, conflict resolution and collaboration.


  • Know myself and be comfortable in my own skin.
  • Be open to expressing my identity, attitudes and emotions
  • Use help-seeking behaviours and provide support to others.
  • Contribute meaningfully to community (school and other)


  • Drive to continually grow as a person
  • Feel a sense of purpose
  • Contribute positively to society/community
  • Act in line with my personal values, rather than how I think peers want me to behave


  • Build social relationships; engage with array of individuals
  • Be respectful, tolerant, empathetic
  • Demonstrate kindness and compassion in relationships with people, systems, groups and myself
  • Have a sense of belonging to group/s that are positive for me

Program Goals

The primary aim of the +M program is to provide an open dialogue on topics such as gender roles and expectations, respectful relationships and social justice.  

Students are encouraged to explore different aspects of masculinity, including its history and current context. They are also given the opportunity to learn about different forms of communication that can help them overcome gender stereotypes and expression.


Building the base of understanding about positive masculinity. Being explicitly taught about values, behaviours and skills that support positive masculinity.


Creating the context for the three pillars of being authentic, motivated and connected., Programs are the contexts for our students to safely develop their knowledge into being.

Developing Positive Masculinity

The word is spreading on our work in Positive Masculinity, with US magazine Psychology Today writing a piece referencing the paper (Operationalizing Positive Masculinity) in which BGS had contributions from Ross Featherston, Ray Swann and Kate Casey. 26

Parenting boys into healthy adult men

What can parents do? By Dr Matt Englar-Carlson. 23 March 2023

Positive masculinity program at BGS aims to create respectful men

Brighton Grammar School’s positive masculinity program, +M, has been developed with mental health experts and was designed to shape perceptions of manhood. 17 March 2023

Talking positive and healthy masculinities

Dr Matt Englar-Carlson and Ross Featherston have been on ABC Radio Melbourne’s drive program. 15 March 2023

Professor Matt Englar-Carlson at BGS

Professor Matt Englar-Carlson is spending a sabbatical with Brighton Grammar. 6 March 2023

Feeling connected, seen and understood

A wellbeing philosophy gives students the best chance in life while they’re still at school. 1 October 2022

Engaging Men with Men’s Health

What are the causes for men to not seek help regarding their health? 30 September 2022

Expanding Positive Masculinity

An invitation to speak with Parliament of Victoria. 18 August 2022


Presenting Positive Masculinity to the IBSC

Sharing our framework with the IBSC Annual Conference. 1 July 2022


Award for +M research

The Ilona Kickbusch Award for Excellence in Early Career Research Publication in Health Promotion. 3 May 2022

Positive Masculinity webinar

Our introductory webinar, presenting the +M Positive Masculinity Model. 9 August 2021

Ray and Simon on ABC Radio

Dr Ray Swann and Dr Simon Rice appeared on ABC Radio Mornings with Virginia Trioli, and on ABC Radio National Drive with Patricia Karvelas. 5 August 2021

Positive Masculinity on the Exploring Boys' Education Podcast

Ross and Ray talk to the ISBC Exploring Boys Podcast about our Positive Masculinity program. 6 July 2021

Helping boys become respectful men

A program on positive masculinity is having a positive impact on students’ wellbeing. 22 May 2021

Operationalising positive masculinity

A review of divergent perspectives on positive masculinity. 11 April 2021

A systematic review of community and school-based programs

An evaluation of 40 studies on the state of wellbeing programs. 20 May 2019

The Understanding Boys Podcast

Conversations about what makes a good man and more. Since 2019

What it means to be a man

Educating boys on the road to manhood requires much more than instruction in maths, science and humanities. 23 March 2017


Through various activities during school sessions and our Y9-10 Capstone program, students have the chance to delve further into these themes with more depth and context.  

The program offers sessions that focus on respectful communication allow students to practice self-reflection through personal journalling and small group discussions.  

Workshops encourage healthy discussions around gender roles and how they impact both individuals and society as a whole. 


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