That might make you wonder if things are really good Do come in threes.
Straight men fit into one of three distinct masculinity categories that define how they navigate their romantic relationships, researchers have found.
Experts from the University of British Columbia in Canada conducted in-depth interviews with 92 straight men, ages 19 to 43, from 14 different countries to find out how they manage partnerships as gender roles continue to change.
“We wanted to understand how different types of masculinities affect men’s relationships and mental health,” explained Dr. John Oliffe, Professor of Nursing at UBC a press release about the study, published in the August issue of social sciences and medicine.
The first type of masculinity defined by the researchers is “neo-traditionalist,” in which a man “largely follows traditional gender roles, such as being the breadwinner and protector in relationships.”
The second well-defined typology is “egalitarian,” and includes a man who “seeks a more equal partnership, with an emphasis on reciprocity and measurable give and take.”
Meanwhile, the third and final clear category defined by the experts is “progressive” and refers to men who “work to build gender equity in the partnership through regular, focused conversations with their partner to determine who does what .”
Less than a quarter of the men in the study (24%) were classified as “neo-traditionalist” and half of all respondents “consciously distanced themselves from traditional male norms”.
The surprisingly low number highlights how younger generations of men are actively trying to break away from any association with “toxic masculinity,” which includes suppressing emotions, asserting dominance, and reluctance to participate in household chores like cooking and cleaning .
Meanwhile, 26% of the men surveyed fit into the “progressive” masculinity category, meaning they “focused on fairness and social justice and reviewed their own privilege to act fairly within the relationship and more broadly in society.”
The most common masculinity type among young respondents was ‘egalitarian’, with the men idealizing ‘equal contributions and reciprocity’, often using counts to assess each partner’s relative efforts and contributions to the relationship.
dr Careful not to judge respondents, Oliffe and his team instead listened objectively to the men’s responses and used “constant comparative analysis to create the analyses.”
“We found that these male types were associated with both distinct advantages and challenges,” explained Dr. oliffe.
For example, men who were active advocates for gender equality and social justice reported improved mental well-being, but these same men often reported experiencing isolation or criticism from other men, which in turn impacted their mental health.
“While men are increasingly engaged in promoting gender equality, little is known about how younger men are working to build partnerships in their personal lives,” explained Dr. oliffe.
“We hope that with this research we’ve helped explore this new territory and show a path towards healthier relationships that promote the health of men, their partners and families.”