Being a “man’s man” is taking on a whole new meaning. A new study published in Psychology of Men & Masculinity and conducted by the University of British of Columbia and Intension Study, found that millennial men place value on qualities very different from their fathers and grandfathers. Characteristics such as strength, financial savvy, and independence are still in important but these former hallmarks of manhood—and the one-dimensional traits—used to be the sole standard of masculinity. Not anymore. Researchers say that other qualities, such as openness, selflessness, and overall health ranked higher than expected among twentysomething men—even trumping former universally aspirational top traits such as “physical strength.” They believe this marks the beginning of a new generation of men.
Here are some other highlights from the study.
Men Are Feeling Kindness
“Ninety-one per cent of the men agreed that a man should help other people, and 80 percent believed that a man should give back to the community. Openness also ranked highly — 88 per cent said a man should be open to new ideas, new experiences, and new people — and so did health, with a majority of participants saying that men should be healthy or in good shape,” reports the University of British Columbia.
And Better Living
Excessive drinking, avoiding doctors and being overly competitive are among the habits more young men are increasingly recognizing as sources of stress, and abandoning. “These values may run counter to long-standing claims that young men are typically hedonistic, hypercompetitive, and that they risk or neglect their health,” said John Oliffe, a lead author of the study. “They want to be both caring and strong, both open to others and self-sufficient, and they see no contradiction in these values.”
And Not Selflessness
The UBC study, which consisted of males between ages 15-29, also “found that the most strongly endorsed masculine value is selflessness.”