What is a male man

Typical man? A new study sheds light on the perception of masculinity in 2020

“Typical man” - what is that anyway?

Even if there is still a lot of room for improvement: In recent years and decades we have been moving - sometimes more, sometimes less - in the direction of a modernized, more equitable society. Long-established gender roles and stereotypes are deconstructed and rethought, expectations are changing.

In order to examine these changes more closely and also to analyze the effects they can have on our dating behavior, the dating and social networking platform Bumble carried out a study with 5,000 participants from Germany. The focus was on the perception of masculinity in 2020 and their impact on the topic of dating. We took a closer look and gathered some of the most important results.

The three most important qualities of the "modern man"

For older generations, being a man and the issue of sensitivity are often a combination that collides with the traditional male role model. To what extent is the idea of ​​what “typically men” changing, is sensitivity instead of hyper-masculinity already accepted?

According to the survey will be Helpfulness and respect regarded as the most important characteristics of the "modern man" with 58%, directly followed by empathy (45%) and the conscious rejection of sexist behavior (41 %).  

Money and physical strength are no longer considered to be necessarily masculine

Starting with depictions of gods and heroic figures, an ideal of the man emerged, whose body image was shaped by strength and physical superiority. This ideal was carried on for centuries. According to the Bumble survey, physical strength is now only seen as a representative characteristic of masculinity by 13% of those surveyed. Also encouraging: only 7% of those surveyed still expect the man to be the main breadwinner.

Social pressure

What it apparently takes to be a “real man” can still be found today in dozens of self-help books and even YouTube videos. Despite slow processes of change, the classic distribution of roles still cemented the man as the protector of his family. The "right man" is also often described as independent, dominant, performance-oriented, enthusiastic about sports and strong.

Despite the assumption, apparently supported by the Bumble study, that modern gender roles are changing, one in five men (20%) stated that they had the feeling that they could not meet societal expectations regarding their own gender.

“Typical man”: Every third man is silent

The survey showed that over a third of men (35%) do not talk to anyone about relationship problems, but deal with them with themselves and thus still follow a more traditional behavior pattern.

According to the study in Germany, a (only) similar proportion of women (32%) feel able to break out of stereotypical gender roles.

To continue watching: The “Date Night Show”

The study on gender roles forms the basis for a new video series at Bumble, which deals with the realities of dating in 2020, moderated and co-produced by Wana Limar. The "Date Night Show with Werner" deals with dating and relationship challenges and intersectional considerations - including the topics of racism, sexism, masculinity and intimacy. The first episode is about male gender expectations and their influence on relationships, guests are VOGUE -Columnist Fabian Hart and rapper Kelvyn Colt. You can see them on Instagram:

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