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Modern men have both traditional and new qualities

Posted May 3, 2018

Men have to be manly – strong, cold and responsible for their families. This image is long forgotten, but now young men have a bad image. It is often said that millennial men are selfish, self-absorbed, anti-social and not caring at all about their environment. However, scientists from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting say that this is not at all true.

Physical strength and independency are still one of the key elements of being manly. Image credit: Zbrazis via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Millennial men are selfless, socially engaged and health-conscious, according to this new study. Scientists surveyed 630 young men ages 15-29 in Western Canada They wanted to see what people think about masculine character features. And sure enough, selflessness was one of them – 91 % believed that a man has to help others while 80 % said that he should back the community. Openness and health ranked very high as well, proving that a man has to be open and caring both for himself and those around him.

However, this is not to say that traditional values were forgotten. Physical, emotional and intellectual strength ranked just below openness, selflessness and health-consciousness. 78 % of surveyed people agreed that a man should be independent. This is one of the core virtues of a man that is now forgotten – a man should be able to resolve most of his issues by himself, which includes fixing a car, providing food and shelter for the family even in difficult times. However, it is obvious that the idea of masculinity is changing. Traditional values are now pushed into the background, while openness, caring about health and others are pushed to the top. It is important to say that modern and traditional values don’t cancel each other and so a man can be open and self-sufficient,  health-conscious and physically strong, caring and yet emotionally tough.

Millennial men don’t have the best image in the society. People tend to think that they are not-caring, self-absorbed and generally weak. But that is still not ok – while individuality is appreciated more and more, men are still expected to be somewhat manly, even if definitions are changing. John Oliffe, lead author of the study, said: “The life expectancy gap is closing between men and women, and I hope that additional gains are mustered through these emerging health-related values – and our continued work in men’s health”.

Boys will always be boys. There are a lot of claims that we have to demolish the traditional masculine image, but it does sound counter-productive. Men will always be whatever they want to be and the cultural environment can only change them that much.


Source: University of British Columbia

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