Discover Your Masculine Flair: Unveiling Neo-Traditionalism, Egalitarianism, or Progressive Ideals
According to recent research led by John Oliffe, an expert in men's health from UBC, men shape their intimate partner relationships based on their unique masculine styles.
This study involved in-depth interviews with 92 straight men, ranging from 19 to 43 years old, who came from diverse cultural backgrounds. The research identified three distinct types of masculinities:
- Neo-traditionalists - These men tend to adhere to traditional gender roles, assuming the roles of provider and protector in their relationships.
- Egalitarian - Other men strive for an equal partnership, placing importance on mutual respect and a balanced give-and-take dynamic.
- Progressive - Some men actively work towards achieving gender equity in their relationships by engaging in regular and purposeful conversations with their partners to redefine traditional gender roles.
"Our primary objective was to gain a comprehensive understanding of how different types of masculinities influence men's mental health and their relationships. We discovered that each masculine style is associated with its own set of advantages and challenges," commented Dr. Oliffe, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Men's Health Promotion and serves as a nursing professor at UBC.
The research revealed that men who actively advocated for gender equity and social justice experienced enhanced mental well-being. However, Dr. Oliffe also observed that men who questioned or challenged these ideals faced potential isolation or criticism, which could negatively impact their mental health. Furthermore, the study identified that some men who embraced an egalitarian style still struggled to fully comprehend the concept of achieving gender equality through an equal division of domestic tasks.
"The shifts and pressures experienced by men in these relationships have notable implications for their mental health," emphasized Dr. Oliffe. "To inspire meaningful change, we must address the underlying structures that influence men's behaviors."
This study is the most recent addition to UBC's men's health research program, which seeks to explore the intricate connections between masculinity and men's mental well-being.
"While men are increasingly dedicated to promoting gender equity, we have limited knowledge about how younger men cultivate healthy and equitable partnerships in their personal lives," pointed out Dr. Oliffe. "Through this research, we hope to shed light on this unexplored territory and pave the way towards healthier relationships that foster the well-being of men, their partners, and their families."
To disseminate their findings, the team launched an online photo exhibition titled "Men Building Intimate Partner Relationships," showcasing 120 photographs selected from over 700 submissions received from study participants.
"Within this exhibition, we present photos that exemplify neo-traditional, egalitarian, and progressive masculinity. Visitors are encouraged to take a quiz that matches each image with the corresponding masculine style. We not only seek to highlight our research outcomes but also invite visitors to reflect on their own identities and how they strive towards gender equity in their intimate relationships," explained Dr. Nina Gao, research manager for the men's health research program.
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