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Andrew Tate promoted a hyper-masculine lifestyle to an audience of mainly school-aged boys. Picture: Twitter

New research shows Andrew Tate’s effect on school boys

Content warning: This article refers to sexual assault, sexual harassment, sex trafficking and human trafficking. Support resources can be found here.

A new piece of research has found Romanian-based self-proclaimed misogynist 'manfluencer' Andrew Tate promoted a culture of domination and violence among boys in Australian schools.

The content creator, who has millions of views and followers online, promotes a hyper-masculine and anti-feminist ideology, which led him to be banned from social media app Tik Tok.

Mr Tate, along with his brother and two Romanian women, were indicted in June last year in Romania on allegations of human trafficking, rape, and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women; which they all denied.

The content creator has previously said women are men's property, belong in the home, and should accept men wanting to have multiple wives or sexual partners.

He was banned from Twitter (now X) in 2017 for tweeting that rape victims "bear some responsibility" for "putting themselves in that position". His account has since been reinstated.

Monash University researchers interviewed 30 women teachers in both private and public primary and high schools, and found they experienced a significant increase in sexual harassment, sexism, and misogyny from boys, along with an "ominous presence" of Andrew Tate.

Tate's conspiracy matrix: the need to 'reclaim' masculinity

Lead author of the research Dr Stephanie Wescott said Andrew Tate promotes a "conspiracy-like matrix" that tells boys they are disempowered by contemporary feminist movements, such as #metoo, and that they need to reclaim their masculinity.

"Feminism has become mainstream in recent years. Girls have been lucky enough to receive those messages early on," she said.

"But what we really do need to try and get across is that feminism is not the enemy of men, and [that message] actually harms them."

Andrew Tate promotes his hyper-masculine misogynist model of masculinity to young boys and men with his monetary success, expensive cars, and access to women.

The study found Andrew Tate rose to popularity among school boys after Covid-19 lockdowns, raising concerns about the social and mental health effects of isolation on young people.

The interviewed teachers noticed at first, that Andrew Tate was brought up in their classrooms in a neutral, non-combative way, but his ideals were soon used as a catalyst to "challenge" the women.

Study participants said their boy students accused them of being sexist, and positioned women as oppressors in a "power structure" that has diminished the male standing.

Dr Wescott said Andrew Tate's ideas allow his followers to joke and laugh about his actions, even if they are aware they have adverse effects on women.

“[Students] make joking references about Andrew Tate to try and get a reaction from the girls or some female staff," a teacher from NSW said.

"They know exactly the type of polarising figure he is, but they feel safe enough to put him into the classroom as a joke."

“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," a former teacher from Queensland said.

The study also found "Tate’s alleged violent crimes are dismissed as evidence of a conspiracy executed by ‘elites'."

Dr Wescott said Tate has also convinced many of his followers that the criminal charges against him are a conspiracy, and that he is a victim of the judicial system.

What should schools do?

Co-author Professor Steven Roberts said women need to feel like they can share their experiences in schools - and be heard - to address the effects Andrew Tate has had.

“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.”

Dr Wescott said schools need a holistic, no-tolerance policy to tackle the effects Andrew Tate has has on students, because even if he loses relevance on social media, another personality will replace him.

"We also need to look long term, because Andrew Tate is just one figure, and [social media] isn't going away. So we need to implement a real long-term strategy," she said.

"What are the stereotypes of boys and girls, men and women? How can we exist differently in the world?

She added that parents needed to be educated about what their boys were seeing online, and how to monitor it.

The research lead also said boys should be made aware Andrew Tate is only using them to make money.

His social media content directs viewers to his website, which offers a paid program to boys and men, teaching how to achieve 'financial autonomy' outside 'The Matrix'.

"He's a joke to many boys. He's certainly not got a broad, mass appeal, we're talking about a minority of boys," she said.

"[They should] understand how they're being manipulated by him."

Education about social media algorithms that explain why young boys might be shown his type of content could help.

"We also need to build critical digital literacy skills to [explore] how we understand the world."

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One comment

  1. He fits in perfectly with the strong-man politics and attitudes overtaking many nations of the world – one of dominance, misogyny and authoritarianism, paired with lies to mask the toxicity of messages. The behaviour of boys as they develop into and within adolescence has always been challenging enough for female educators, without this added abusive dimension – as overreactions and opposition to feminism, and I suspect the MeToo movement. My daughter as a young high school teacher has been turned off teaching for life after confronting these attitudes.

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