Public awareness campaign takes aim at toxic masculinity

A toxic culture can lead to toxic outcomes.

That’s the message that Children of the Street Society, an organization dedicated to preventing the sexual exploitation of children and youth in B.C. through education and support, is spreading with the launch of its new public awareness campaign.

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Launched this week, the campaign focuses on the spectre of toxic masculinity, which is defined as a form of masculinity that promotes sexual violence, dominance and aggression while forbidding emotions, weakness and vulnerability, according to a release from the organization.

A series of posters featuring males posing in a position reminiscent of a skull and crossbones, or the international symbol for poison, are being rolled out at 82 transit shelters across the Lower Mainland, with messages encouraging viewers and passersby to know the signs of toxic masculinity.

According to the news release, while masculinity in general is not the problem, behaviours associated with toxic masculinity such as sexual violence and aggression certainly are when it comes to the exploitation of youth.

On the North Shore, one such public awareness sign is viewable at a bus shelter near Marine Drive and 15th Street in West Vancouver.

Children of the Street Society is encouraging the public to learn more about the signs of toxic masculinity by visiting its website at

In addition, the organization also offers a one-hour workshop designed to educate students in grades 10-12 on redefining manhood in an effort to combat toxic masculinity. Visit to learn more.

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