“He’s a top G. He’s a cool dude. He knows what he’s doing.”
Most important points:
- In a recent survey, 28 percent of teenage boys said they look up to Andrew Tate
- Mental health organizations urge parents to talk to their teens about the controversial internet celebrity
- Tate was arrested last month as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation
This is how hundreds of Australian teenage boys feel about internet celebrity, self-proclaimed misogynist and alleged trafficker Andrew Tate, according to a recent survey.
Not only did it reveal that the vast majority of guys know who Andrew Tate is, but many say they relate to his philosophies.
“Young men really connect with some of his core messages around drive and motivation…he cuts through with direction and clarity,” said Matt Defina, an organizational psychologist and chief of impact at The Man Cave.
“That’s really dangerous, because then they get caught up in his other, more harmful views.”
The data comes from Mr Defina’s Melbourne-based organization, which runs healthy masculinity and preventive mental health programs in schools.
The organization wanted to measure the impact the controversial British-American influencer had on young men after he rose to prominence last year.
Who is Andrew Tate?
Mr Tate is a former kickboxing champion who is particularly notable for his openly misogynistic attitude and violent rhetoric towards women in online videos.
His posts have been viewed billions of times and gained him millions of followers.
Mr Tate first gained fame after being kicked off reality TV in the UK in 2016 when a video emerged of him attacking his ex-girlfriend.
He also started a series of online ventures, including “Hustler University,” which purported to teach paying subscribers how to make money.
It was later shut down, with critics labeling it a scam.
In 2022, his misogynistic attitude led to a ban on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, though the latter has since been removed.
Last month, Mr Tate was arrested in Romania following an investigation into charges of forming an organized crime group, human trafficking and rape.
But despite the ongoing controversy and more recent criminal investigations, The Man Cave’s survey of more than 500 boys found that 28 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they looked up to Mr. Tate.
Thirty-six percent found him ‘relatable’.
“We started to see some of his messages, even his key phrases, appearing in classrooms,” Mr. Defina told the ABC News Daily podcast.
“We spoke to 24 schools last year and 50 percent of them said, ‘We see a significant and negative impact of his influence on our boys in school.'”
Defina said that many of the videos Tate had made referred to women as men’s property, suggesting “you can do anything you want with a woman once you’ve gotten her into a relationship”.
Despite his recent social media bans, Mr Tate’s content continues to be shared and copied by other accounts, making it nearly impossible for young people to avoid.
“This is really the first generation of young people being educated by social media,” he said.
‘[The] algorithm is designed to hold their attention as much as possible.
“So we’re also seeing this dangerous rise of how social media can really perpetuate some toxic messages.”
How do you talk to teenage boys about Andrew Tate?
As parents and educators grapple with the influence of figures like Andrew Tate, Mr Defina says it’s essential for adults to know what the message is they’re dealing with before entering into a conversation.
“Go check out some Andrew Tate content. Start understanding what he’s about and form your own perspective on what you think of him,” he said.
Mr. Defina then encourages to keep an open mind.
“It’s very important not to shut down the conversation and really understand what the young person is thinking and why they relate to him and what they like about him, rather than just generally rejecting him,” he said.
“Chances are that even just this young person being heard by you and actually being able to express his perspective will mean he’s much more open to an opinion that you ultimately have as well.
“I think we can go wrong if we really ‘wrong’ Andrew Tate. Everyone involved with him then feels that they are wrong too.”