WHEN I became First Minister, I didn’t want to lose any traction in the progress the Scottish Government has made in tackling violence against women and girls. There’s still more we can, should and must do. I’m also keen to look at areas where we can have conversations about the root causes of this violence.

More personally though, over the past few years, like many men, I’ve had more conversations with the women in my life about the extent to which they still adjust their lives to stay safe, to feel safe, and how they still face abuse and violence – violence overwhelmingly perpetrated by men. The story from my sister about how she holds her keys on a walk home. The fact that I want the best for my daughters and their friends.

To them, they know what feminism means and have a positive vision of being a woman. For some men – I would argue most men and boys – that is not the case, and it’s harming them and society.

Research from Ipsos for King’s College London’s Policy Institute and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership just last week highlighted that one in four UK males aged 16 to 29 now look favourably on Andrew Tate (below) – a self-proclaimed misogynist who uses his social media influencer status to push negative and harmful views on women. His views epitomise the most toxic behaviours men display.

The National: Andrew Tate leaves the Court of Appeal along with his brother Tristan (Andreea Alexandru/AP)

We must, of course, do all we can to condemn those views, but we need to do more. We need to also show the alternative, to have a positive vision of masculinity and show boys and young men how positive masculinity is good for society but also – importantly for men and boys – their relationships and those around them whether partners, family, colleagues or friends.

I’m aware that boys and young men sometimes struggle to find purpose – while they navigate being exposed to more negative online content than ever before, where are the alternatives we can point them to? Because they are there – in sport, culture and importantly around them too in their families, in their workplaces and in their classrooms.

If we don’t help show boys what the positive male identity is, then they will inevitably turn to those selling a worldview that demonstrates the most toxic traits of masculinity, and all of us will suffer. Misogynistic hate preachers – many of whom have millions of online followers – wrongly suggest that men and boys can only have healthy sexual relationships, wealth and happiness at the expense of women. If such concerning views manifest, they can lead to young men engaging in harmful behaviours which impact them and those around them – such as engaging in abuse and violence towards women and girls.

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If we can promote a positive male identity, then we make further progress on tackling some of the most deep-rooted inequalities we see in our society, such as men making up 96% of the prison population, men being three times more likely to commit suicide than women, and poorer health and educational outcomes for men and boys.

That is why last week I met with practitioners, researchers and thought leaders who are working to promote positive masculinity.

I wanted to hear about the good work that is going on already to tackle this and find out what more we can do. For example, I heard from Mr Brown about an innovative two-year programme of workshops at Broughton High School in Edinburgh, which was designed to give teenage boys opportunities to “break out of the box”. These workshops aimed to give boys a forum to talk freely and openly about their feelings, thoughts and ideas, without judgement – and help them to become young role models at the school to influence others.

It’s time to raise the level of the conversation in our societies, not simply listing all the things men do wrong, but providing them with tools and the means to raise their eyes towards a more positive view of what masculinity means and why it is important.

And we need to think about the benefits of inviting boys and young men to use their creativity to become role models of positive masculinity. Examining what a positive male identity looks like and what more we can all do to help them achieve that will be highly beneficial.

Last week’s meeting will add to my thinking, and I look forward to further discussions on this subject with organisations and young people over the coming months.

Humza Yousaf MSP is the First Minister of Scotland. He held a roundtable with practitioners, researchers and thought leaders who are working to promote positive masculinity in their broader approach to achieving a more equal and fairer society in Edinburgh