Forced sex within relationships is a major global health concern and is of particular relevance in Zimbabwe. Forced sex is "pressuring or coercing an unwilling partner to engage in sexual activity" and is a form of gender-based violence. Forced sex is rape. The role of men as positive agents for changing sexual and reproductive health outcomes has been largely overlooked in Zimbabwe. To effectively reduce ‘forced and coercive sex’ and its subsequent negative effects on sexual and reproductive health, it is vital to challenge this traditional dichotomy and empower young men to engage in healthy sexual practices. The objective of this study was to explore how young Zimbabwean men understand the relationship between gender roles and forced sex. Semi-structured qualitative interviews lasting 45-75 minutes were conducted with seventeen young men aged 20-29 years recruited through the charity 'SAYWHAT- Students and Youth Working on Reproductive Health Action Team’. Interviews were carried out in May-June 2016. The interview questions explored the young men’s personal opinions of societal gender roles, masculinity and the acceptability and effects of forced sex. The young men had all previously participated in gender and sexual health capacity building activities. The results of this study indicated that there was a marked shift from a normative view of forced sex recorded in previous studies to one of condemnation. Confusion remained as to whether forced sex within marriages constituted rape and as to the illegality of marital forced sex. Pre-marital sexual relationships were associated with a decreased likelihood of reporting forced sex due to societal stigma. The increasing educational and financial empowerment of women was associated with a concern that female empowerment may lead to an associated financial and sexual emasculation of men. While this study indicates a shift away from a normative view of male entitlement to sex, there are indicators of some friction while trying to balance perceived societal norms with those promoted at sexual health and rights workshops. In conclusion, attitudes to forced sex among young men in Zimbabwe appear to be changing, however greater efforts need to be include men of all ages in awareness campaigns.