Contemporary Minds Don’t Always Think Alike – Queendom.com Study Reveals That Some Young Men Still Lean Toward Traditional Gender Roles

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Recent study on gender roles, conducted by Queendom.com and PsychTests.com, turns tradition on its head. While older men are more progressive-minded, younger men have a slightly more traditional view of relationships, childrearing, men and women’s place in the working world, and what it means to be a man.

When the researchers compared men’s views, their study revealed interesting age differences in gender attitudes.

While views on the appropriateness of certain gender roles continue to shift, there are still some stereotypes that die hard, as research from Queendom.com reveals

It’s only as you get older that you realize that men don’t have to be so tough all the time – but the messages we get are so mixed. And changing, or ‘unlearning’ these beliefs and behaviors is a difficult process.

Although traditions like chivalry can still be endearing, there are many gender role views that have changed – and many women and men will agree that it’s for the better. More jobs are open to both genders, more dads are enjoying the idea of staying at home with the kids, and more women are taking on roles and careers that were once closed to them. However, while views on the appropriateness of certain gender roles continue to shift, there are still some stereotypes that die hard, as research from Queendom.com will show.

Queendom.com collected data from 757 men who took their Gender Roles Test. Test-takers were asked about their views on men’s and women’s place at work, in the home, in relationships, and in the raising of children. They were also asked what they feel it meant to be a man. When the researchers compared men’s views, their study revealed interesting age differences.

(Note: Results here are reported only for Caucasians. Due to large differences in sample size between Caucasians and other ethnic groups, and because the ethnic composition was different for the various age groups, a decision was made to focus only on Caucasians, since ethnicity could confound the results. In fact, the age differences were more pronounced in analyses of the entire sample. The sample size for Caucasians was 430).

CAREERS

Divided into three age groups (under 25, 25 to 39, and over 40), the following is the percentages of men who said that the jobs below are “appropriate for both genders”:

  •     Carpenter: 21% of men under 25, 22% of men 25-39, 42% of men over 40
  •     Prison Guard: 21% of men under 25, 31% of men 25-39, 44% of men over 40
  •     Secretary: 39% of men under 25, 46% of men 25-39, 66% of men over 40
  •     Nurse: 41% of men under 25, 46% of men 25-39, 57% of men over 40
  •     Stay-at-home parent: 42% of men under 25, 56% of men 25-39, 60% of men over 40
  •     CEO of a company: 55% of men under 25, 65% of men 25-39, 76% of men over 40
  •     Police Detective: 63% of men under 25, 71% of men 25-39, 76% of men over 40
  •     Financial Planner: 68% of men under 25, 61% of men 25-39, 75% of men over 40
  •     Doctor: 69% of men under 25, 77% of men 25-39, 84% of men over 40
  •     Teacher: 70% of men under 25, 73% of men 25-39, 76% of men over 40
  •     Professor: 71% of men under 25, 77% of men 25-39, 80% of men over 40
  •     Judge: 72% of men under 25, 74% of men 25-39, 80% of men over 40
  •     Research Scientist: 75% of men under 25, 79% of men 25-39, 81% of men over 40

GENDER ROLES IN THE HOME

  •     21% of men under 25 believe that a husband should control the finances; 21% of men 25-39 and 9% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     27% of men under 25 think less of a stay-at-home dad; 14% of men 25-39 and 15% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     33% of men under 25 believe that it’s the father who should be the disciplinarian of children; 22% of men 25-39 and 14% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     36% of men under 25 believe that a man should be the main breadwinner; 28% of men 25-39 and 21% of men over 40 feel the same way.

GENDER ROLES AT WORK

  •     20% of men under 25 believe that the most important decision-makers in a company should be male; 22% of men 25-39 and 15% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     32% of men under 25 would prefer to hire a man to help a company beat its competitors; 24% of men 25-39 and 20% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     40% of men under 25 believe that men are more cutthroat in business than women; 22% of men 25-39 and 28% of men over 40 feel the same way.

GENDER ROLES IN RELATIONSHIPS

  •     20% of men under 25 believe that women should have fewer sexual partners than men; 17% of men 25-39 and 10% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     26% of men under 25 believe that a woman who is assertive sexually is likely promiscuous; 18% of men 25-39 and 11% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     27% of men under 25 believe that the boyfriend should be the one to plan dates; 23% of men 25-39 and 20% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     44% of men under 25 said that it would bother them if their partner had more sexual partners than they did; 26% of men 25-39 and 15% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     51% of men under 25 believe that the guy should pay on the first date; 43% of men 25-39 and 33% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     59% of men under 25 believe that women are naturally more nurturing than men; 50% of men 25-39 and 43% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     60% of men under 25 think it’s OK for a woman to propose marriage to a man; 72% of men 25-39 and 81% of men over 40 feel the same way.

MEN AND MASCULINITY

  •     13% of men under 25 believe that a guy should never back off from a dare; 8% of men 25-39 and 3% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     16% of men under 25 would teach their son that crying and whining are unacceptable behaviors; 7% of men 25-39 and 6% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     30% of men under 25 believe that boys should do whatever they can to avoid being called a “sissy;” 26% of men 25-39 and 17% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     33% of men under 25 are uncomfortable expressing their emotions; 26% of men 25-39 and 19% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     38% of men under 25 would not want to have gay friends; 32% of men 25-39 and 15% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     42% of men under 25 said that they would have no choice but to punch a guy who hit on their girlfriend/wife; 24% of men 25-39 and 15% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     44% of men under 25 believe that a guy should always be aware of how masculine he appears to others; 32% of men 25-39 and 21% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     53% of men under 25 would not like it if their son played with toys that were meant for girls; 46% of men 25-39 and 35% of men over 40 feel the same way.
  •     59% of men under 25 said that they would feel like less of a man if they lost their job and couldn’t support their family; 61% of men 25-39 and 48% of men over 40 feel the same way.

“There are some traditions that most men believe in, like chivalry - and younger men are actually more willing than older men to help their partner with chores around the house. It’s clear, however, that the majority of men, regardless of age, are progressively-minded,” points out Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of the company. “What’s surprising is that a larger percentage of men under the age of 25 held traditional views of gender roles, compared to older age groups. It’s only as age increased that views became more modern. We are still in the process of collecting data for this study, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out with an even larger sample,” concludes Dr. Jerabek.

In an effort to better understand why some younger men are more traditional, Queendom researchers went to the source. Their interviews with younger men revealed some rather eye-opening responses.

“I was raised with traditional values,” explained 24-year-old Anthony. “For example, I was in a very sports-oriented environment. My father played sports, so that’s the direction I was pushed into - not necessarily forced, but influenced. I will likely do the same for my sons one day because it’s what I know best, but if they don’t want to head in that direction, I will support them.”

For 23-year-old Dario, masculinity messages came from both men and some women. “You’re taught not to show any vulnerability in the form of emotions. This would make you seem weak in the eyes of women who expect you to be strong and supportive. It’s only as you get older that you realize that men don’t have to be so tough all the time – but the messages we get are so mixed. And changing, or ‘unlearning’ these beliefs and behaviors is a difficult process.”

“Middle-aged men are at a stage in their lives where they wish they can spend more time with their kids anyway,” theorizes 24-year-old Erik. “They’ve already done decades of nine-to-five. Plus, older people are generally smarter, to put it simply. Homophobia, for example, started dying down when those now forty-year-olds were younger. I don’t actually believe that women should raise children and that men shouldn’t show emotions, so it’s difficult for me to understand why some guys from my generation believe that. Personally, I think emotion makes you better. Passion makes you better. Bottling it serves no purpose, other than to increase your stress level.”

“Older men have seen the world change; many have experienced firsthand the sexual revolution and women’s liberation movement. I think this is why they are less inclined to conform/agree with gender stereotypes these days. And as the Generation Y’ers get older, I can see the shift to modern views happening as well,” concludes Deborah Muoio, researcher at Queendom.com.

Those who wish to take the Gender Roles Test (for men) can go to:
http://www.queendom.com/tests/take_test.php?idRegTest=2433. A version for women is available here: http://www.queendom.com/tests/take_test.php?idRegTest=2434

About Queendom.com
Queendom.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. Queendom.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About PsychTests AIM Inc.:
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com). The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek, PhD
PsychTests AIM Inc.
+1 (514) 745-3189 Ext: 112
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