A Chip On A Muscular Shoulder: New Study Reveals Traditional Men Obsess About Manliness

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A new study by PsychTests.com indicates that men who feel the need to prove their masculinity are more likely to have traditional gender role views, and are less comfortable with their manhood.

Men who are comfortable in their manhood don’t feel the need to prove it. This is the art of manliness.

Being masculine is about being confident. It’s not about being aggressive or macho.

Men who are comfortable in their manhood don’t feel the need to prove it.

It’s hard to say how John Wayne, Charles Bronson, and Theodore Roosevelt would have felt about man buns, pink shirts, and “mannies”. Men of their times were strongly encouraged to toughen up and not to cry, show fear, or display any stereotypically female emotions. They had to be the breadwinners, the disciplinarians, the leaders at home and at work, the soldiers, the pioneers, the heroes. Although views of masculinity and beliefs about how men (and women) should behave have changed significantly, it isn’t the case for all men. Research from PsychTests.com demonstrates that traditional men have a lot of hang-ups about what it means to be a man.

Researchers at PsychTests assessed the attitudes of 4,508 men who took the Gender Roles Test. They discovered that men who feel the need to prove their masculinity (insecure men) are more likely to have strong traditional views and very strict beliefs about how men and women should behave. For example:


  • 70% of masculinity-obsessed men believe that it is better for women to be homemakers and/or stay-at-home moms (vs. 23% of men who are secure in their masculinity).
  • 76% believe that men should control the finances in a family; 62% believe that men are better than women at managing money (vs. 21% and 15% of secure men, respectively).
  • 76% of them believe that men should be the key decision-makers in a company (vs. 22% of secure men).
  • 78% of them believe that men are better suited to management positions than women (vs. 26% of secure men).


  • 84% of men who obsess about their masculinity believe that a guy should always be aware of how manly he appears to others (vs. 39% of men who are secure in their masculinity).
  • 60% believe that a guy should never back down from a dare (vs. 17% of secure men).
  • 87% believe that boys should do whatever they can to avoid being called a “sissy” (vs. 30% of secure men).
  • 74% believe that women should have fewer sexual partners than men (vs. 21% of secure men), while 67% assume that women who are sexually assertive are promiscuous (vs. 22%).


  • 92% of masculinity-obsessed men would feel emasculated if they lost their jobs and couldn’t support their families (vs. 53% of men who are secure in their masculinity).
  • If they were told that they need to undergo surgery, 72% of masculinity-obsessed men would trust a male surgeon more than a female surgeon (vs. 25% of secure men).
  • 65% of insecure men are afraid to show their softer side (vs. 20% of secure guys).
  • 51% of insecure men are too embarrassed to express feelings of love to their partners (vs. 19% of secure men), while 70% are uncomfortable expressing emotions in general (vs. 33%).
  • 85% said that it would bother them if their girlfriends/wives had more past sexual partners (vs. 40%).
  • 87% indicated that they would not want to have gay friends (vs. 33%).


  • 49% of insecure men would teach their sons that crying and whining are not acceptable behaviors (vs. 12% of secure men).
  • 18% would punish their sons for showing interest in stereotypically feminine activities and would forbid them from continuing (vs. 0.4% of secure men).
  • 38% would break up with a woman who expected them to do household chores (vs. 7% of secure men).
  • 44% would not go out with a woman who switched traditional dating roles and asked them out on a date (vs. 16% of secure men).
  • 83% would become aggressive if another man flirted with their girlfriend/wife (vs. 10% of secure men).
  • 33% of insecure men have gotten into more than 5 fist fights, with 18% actually being arrested for getting into a physical altercation (vs. 8% and 4% of secure men, respectively).
  • 9% of insecure men have been charged with domestic abuse (vs. 1% of secure men).

“Men who are obsessed about being seen as masculine, of living up to traditional views of manliness, might go to great lengths to do so,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “Traditional views of masculinity can be problematic, especially if the people in a man’s life, personally and professionally, don’t live up to his expectations of suitable masculine and feminine behavior. These men may be abrasive, act aggressively, take dangerous risks, and put a lot of pressure on their sons and/or romantic partners to behave in a manner that they deem appropriate. These types of men have likely grown up in an environment where they were exposed to very limited and distorted views about what it means to be a man.

“Men who are comfortable in their manhood don’t feel the need to prove it. They are comfortable in their own skin. These are not all metrosexuals, and most don’t even consciously challenge stereotypical views of masculinity. They won’t all get facials and manicures or wear man buns, but they probably don’t have an issue with men who do, because they don’t feel threatened by it. They are simply themselves, without putting the unnecessary pressure to have the upper hand. They don’t need to feel macho. This is the art of manliness.”

Do you adopt traditional or modern gender roles? Check out https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2436

Professional users can request a free demo for this or any other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1.

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr.

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
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