Most men are not only aware of the prevalence of violence against women, but they are also willing to help prevent it.
Such are key findings of a national survey conducted from April 23 to May 23, 2007, by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Family Violence Prevention Fund and Verizon Wireless.
"There has been a sea of change in men's attitudes toward domestic, dating and sexual violence, and especially in their willingness to take action to stop it," said Esta Soler, president of the Family Violence Prevention Fund.
"That's one reason domestic violence has been declining in this country," she added. "But it's still a tremendous problem."
Men recognize the ongoing problem, too, as more than half of them think it is likely that, at some point in their lives, a woman or girl they know will be a victim.
They don't just see the problem. Most men are willing to take time to get involved in efforts to address the problem.
For example, 68% have talked to their sons and 63% have talked to their daughters about the importance of healthy, violence-free relationships.
Most men (55%) have also talked to other boys who are not their sons, though only 47% have discussed the matter with girls who are not their daughters.
Moreover, many men would express disapproval if someone — a friend or celebrity — made demeaning jokes or comments about women or exploited them.
Men are not all-talk.
Many of them are also willing to do everything from volunteer their time and donate to prevention groups and causes to sign pledges and petitions that promote respect for women and girls and urge elected officials to strengthen laws against domestic violence and sexual assault.
Men also think that most institutions, including the entertainment and sports industries, government, businesses, and religious institutions, need to do more to raise awareness and address the problem of violence against women.
"Across the board," said Verizon Wireless president and CEO Lowell McAdam, "men want more done to stop domestic violence and sexual assault."
But what this Father's Day poll does not reveal is whether the majority of men also want to let go of the patriarchal attitudes, aggressive tendencies, and lust for power and control that lead them to want to subjugate, use, and abuse women and others in the first place.
I hope it is not long before some researchers help us find out.