The Alberta Men's Survey
The Alberta Men's Network was formed out of the collaborative, community based research of the Alberta Men’s Survey (AMS). The AMS was created by over 70 men and women and over 18 organizations committed to enhancing men’s roles in violence prevention.
The AMS was distributed from July through October 2015 using Survey Monkey and through trained research assistants. A tremendous strength of the project was a culturally-diverse team of community-based research assistants. Supported by a leadership group of 18 organizations and numerous volunteers, the survey reached men in over 35 Alberta localities. Edmonton, Calgary and Sherwood Park were the top three cities that drew respondents.
Survey Team, 2015
It is our hope that the learning from the AMS will support the efforts of community members, governments and the numerous organizations that are working on the creation, implementation, and evaluation of preventative services that focus on men and boys. The AMS was supported through funding provided by United Way of Calgary and Area, the Alberta Human Rights, Education, and Multiculturalism Fund and The Calgary Foundation to the Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary, the Alberta Men’s survey is the first of its kind in Alberta in its focus, reach and level of collaboration.
Alberta Men’s Survey at a Glance
Geographic Locations of Respondents
Nationality/National Origins of Respondents
Gender and Sexual Identity
Living with Disabilities
Mental Health Challenges
Barriers to Well-Being and Healthy Relationships
More than three out of five respondents (65%) identified financial challenges as the main barrier to well-being and healthy relationships. This was followed by family conflict (55%), substance misuse (46%), an unsuccessful career (45%) and trauma or past negative experiences (44%).
23% of respondents said pressure to prove yourself as a man is a barrier to their well-being
Do Men Need Support for Well-Being and Healthy Relationships?
Types of Support Men Would Use
The statements below, shared by respondents, provide examples of the reasons why men identified these support mechanisms.
Nearly 1 in 3 respondents would not seek supports due to pressures related to traditional masculinity
What it Means to be a Man
Men were asked to name qualities that best describe a man; six thousand one hundred and sixty-six words were provided. The research team coded these responses into several categories. Almost 40% of all responses (2379) were grouped under the theme ‘Traditional or Normative Masculinity’ (characteristics usually ascribed to men). This masculinity category contained words or concepts such as “strong; determined; hardworking; father; provider; protector.”
The second most prominent theme was ‘Ethics Masculinity’, which encompassed 26% (1631) of total responses. This category included words or concepts that centered on being a good person, such as “responsibility; dependability; honesty; truthfulness”. ‘Non-traditional or Non-Normative Masculinity’ (characteristics usually ascribed to women) was the third most common theme, representing 20% (1245) of the total. Within this category were words or concepts such as “nurturing; emotional; loving”. Responses categorized under Normative/Traditional Masculinity, Non-Normative/Non-Traditional Masculinity and Ethical Masculinity encompassed 86% of all descriptors. A variety of other descriptors characterized the remaining 14%, including terms related to anatomy, a rejection of gender-specific binary language and gender-neutral characteristics.