Millennial males cherish good health over traditional masculine traits, study says

by NCN Health And Science Team Posted on January 16th, 2019

Bulging biceps, six-pack abs, and competitiveness are traits that some use to define what a traditional man is.

However, those masculine traits are seemingly passe to the model millennial male, according to a study conducted by Intentions Consulting and the University of British Columbia.

The study, which was published in Psychology of Men and Masculinity, queried 630 men between the ages of 15 and 29 about what attributes they should have.

Instead of the traditional traits such as physical strength, competitiveness and independence, those surveyed ranked qualities such as being empathetic, open, healthy and generous high in their books.

This seemingly indicates that there has been a generational shift in men’s values, researchers said.

On top of assessing male traits, researchers were also studying what impacts men’s health.

It’s been widely published that women are generally expected to outlive men. According to the Daily Mail, men typically engage in more riskier activities and aren’t known for healthy habits.

Nick Black, managing partner of Intensions Consulting, told the Daily Mail that “if you look at all the published literature on this, the answer is: men don’t do health.”

Black suggested getting down to the issue of what men wish for could open eyes on why men’s health is traditionally poor, and how to get around it.

“These constructs of gender, and how you perform them, has a lot of influence on behaviours,” Black said. “If we understand what those constructs look like, we can have a big impact on health.”

Black and study co-author John Oliffe of UBC asked the 630 men ‘what does it mean to be a man?’ before seeking explanations for their answers.

The reactions they got from those polled wasn’t something Black and Oliffe expected.

Black said the men “kind of squirmed.”

“They were uncomfortable with (the question),” he said. “They were uncomfortable with splitting things into female and male.”

After they got past the awkwardness, the study found that 91% of those surveyed believe the top value is to help other people. This was followed by openness (88%), intellect (87%) and being healthy and fit (86.5%).

When dwelling on the subject of wellness, those polled cared about feeling good, being physically capable and looking desirable in order to attract a partner.

Many of the men questioned stated they weren’t confident they could achieve true financial success, believing money couldn’t define success.

Unlike a generation prior, the men believed women are more interested in physical looks, smarts and emotional strength instead of their financial stability

“Being fit and healthy was a status for them, to prove themselves as men,” Black told the Daily Mail. “As gender roles have become more equal, men (were more concerned) about taking care of themselves and being physically attractive.”

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