The Toxicity of Manfluencer Culture in Australian Schools

Boys are copying Andrew Tate’s behaviour towards women.
Apr 3, 2024
Boys are fascinated with the idea of masculinity Tate presents.

Cigar puffing, super car driving, kickboxing Andrew Tate and brother Tristan in all their two-dimensional hyper masculine luridness are fixtures on social media.

Boys have become enthralled and the attitudes that the Tate brothers present have begun to turn up in male students’ behaviour towards their female teachers.

Teachers report a shift in the behaviour of boys that intersects with both a return to face-to-face schooling after a period of remote learning during COVID lockdowns and the rise of Tate’s popularity.

Educators also identified that some boys have adopted Tate’s messaging around post #metoo skewed gender power dynamics that situate women as now unfairly advantaged.

“(Students) make joking references about Andrew Tate to try and get a reaction from the girls or some female staff. They know exactly the type of polarising figure that he is, but they feel safe enough to put him into the classroom as a joke,” says Jane, a school teacher from NSW.

Melanie, a former teacher in a Queensland school recently resigned due to sustained sexual harassment from boys.

“They didn’t really say any specifics, just how much they loved him. And they know in a way that he was bad, but it was a funny thing to like him,” she said.

Research from Monash University has highlighted the resurgence of male supremacy and the advancement of toxic masculinity in Australian schools.

A disturbing pattern of sustained sexual harassment, sexism and misogyny perpetrated by boys has emerged, signalling a worrying shift in gender dynamics within school environments.

A research paper, authored by Dr Stephanie Wescott and Professor Steven Roberts from the Faculty of Education at Monash University, explores the power of 'manfluencers,' specifically Andrew Tate, a notorious self-proclaimed misogynist, and its impact on the behaviour of boys towards women teachers and their female peers.

The paper follows the Federal Government’s announcement in October of a three-year trial project to combat toxic masculinity on social media.

The research draws on qualitative interviews with 30 women teachers across public and private schools in Australia, and delves into the implications of Andrew Tate’s ubiquitous social media presence, including how young people’s interactions with Tate’s content shape their views and subsequently their interactions in the classroom.

Lead Author, Dr Stephanie Wescott, explains how the deliberate use of Andrew Tate's themes and beliefs in classrooms by young boys was found to provoke significant changes in their behaviour and attitudes toward women.

“Our research found that male supremacy in classrooms was rampant amongst Australian schools. Our participants detailed overt displays of authority and dominance by boys towards women teachers, reflecting a resurgence of traditional patriarchal norms.

“The findings also outline a troubling increase in sexual harassment and misogynistic behavior against women teachers and girls in schools, with Andrew Tate's influence shaping and reinforcing regressive views on masculinity,” Dr Wescott said.

Dr Wescott explains that these interactions are profoundly affecting women teachers’ experiences at work.

“Women teachers are engaging in combative interactions that challenge and undermine their gender and their stance on Andrew Tate. Alarmingly, some teachers we spoke to are reporting that schools are no longer a safe place for women teachers,” said Dr Wescott.

Report co-author Professor Steven Roberts highlighted the urgent need for open conversations in schools to allow women to share their experiences and engage in a dialogue about the influence of 'manfluencer' culture on boys' developing identities and relationships.

“The study suggests that current school-level responses, often one-off sessions or punitive talks, may not be sufficient to address the distress experienced by teachers,” said Professor Roberts.

“Instead, our findings call for broader and more comprehensive school-level responses to tackle the pervasive influence of 'manfluencers' on boys' behaviour, including open conversations, ongoing dialogue, and proportionate measures.”

The paper also recommends the importance of school leadership in addressing the impact of 'manfluencer' culture, emphasising the need for more attention to the extent, form and effect of school leaders' responses to this phenomenon.

The researchers urge school communities and fellow scholars to focus on the implications of responses to 'manfluencer' culture in educational settings, and consider the broader impact on young men's relationships with women and girls, their identities and their understanding of power and social advantage.

To view the research paper, please visit: