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Imagine a world where men do not have to prove their manhood. In this world, men’s social status isn’t tied to how often they have or who they have sex with. In this world, all students are able to be their authentic selves.

Sexual scoring

is a practice that focuses on the number of sexual partners a person has, sometimes at the expense of the humanity of those partners. It comes from the cultural norm of

Proving, aligning with, and regulating masculinity through sex and violence


Men all want lots of sex, and don’t care about their partners.

Culture encourages men to prove their masculinity with large amounts of heterosexual sex.


Men who don’t have lots of sex are fair targets for harassment-as-critique, or gender policing.


Thus, men feel peer and societal pressure to have as much sex as possible – even if they don’t want it.


In order to live up to expectations, men pressure and coerce women into sex.


Since men have to always want and enjoy sex, it’s assumed they can’t be the victims of violence.


And if men can’t experience gender-based violence, that violence is more normalized.

The results?

Gender-based violence continues on campus and in other spaces.

Male victims of violence are even less likely to report than female victims.

So what can I do?

You can disrupt this practice if you start with the people who drive it. Here’s one example:

Many fraternities hang banners from their campus houses during the first weeks of the semester to welcome students. Sadly, there’s a history of banners that feature inappropriate or violent language toward women, like “Freshman daughter drop off. Go ahead and drop mom off too.” When Will and Bill, fraternity leaders at Indiana University – Bloomington heard about those banners, they wanted to transform them into signs of support for survivors on campus. With the help of Breakthrough, they hung banners of support promoting school pride, support for victims, and the positive side of fraternal brotherhood on every fraternity house on campus.

You can make a difference too! Sign up for one-on-one coaching with Breakthrough.

Ready to explore other norms? Click here.