As the famous Village People song declares, “Every man wants to be a macho macho man / To have the kind of body, always in demand.” But are “macho macho” mindsets becoming a thing of the past? A new study finds that male millennials are drifting away from stereotypical masculine values.
The research, led by the University of British Columbia, showed that younger men tend to value selflessness, social engagement, and health over traditional male ideals like physical strength and autonomy.
Of course, physique and independence were still prominent values for the 630 Canadian men aged 15 to 29 who took part in the survey, just not as important to participants as selflessness. In fact, selflessness was by far the top-rated male value. Nine in 10 respondents said that men should should help others, and 88 percent of the respondents agreed that men should be open to new ideas, new people, and new experiences. Eight in 10 felt it imperative that a man gives back to his community.
“Young Canadian men seem to be holding masculine values that are distinctly different from those of previous generations. These values may run counter to long-standing claims that young men are typically hedonistic, hypercompetitive, and that they risk or neglect their health,” notes lead author John Oliffe, nursing professor and head of the men’s health program at UBC, in a news release.
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