Researchers in Canada asked what ideas men have about their relationships. They found three basic types of masculinity that shape how men envision an intimate relationship. The head of the study from the University of British Columbia analyzed detailed interviews with 92 heterosexual men aged 19 to 43. Despite the different cultural backgrounds, three basic patterns emerged. So women can only choose between these three models.

Neo-Traditionalists: Men who largely follow traditional gender roles, such as seeing themselves as providers and protectors in their relationship.

Egalitarian: Men who seek an equal partnership. They value reciprocity and a fair share of give and take.

Progressive: Men who work to increase gender equality in their partnership by having conversations with their partner to determine who is doing what.

But how can one imagine the three types in concrete terms? A few quotes should fill the terms with life. For the neo-traditionalists, time has indeed stopped a little in the 1950s. The men have a clear understanding of their duties, but expect women to have a very traditional view of their roles. “Most of the time she does the housework…while I do the manly chores like maybe washing the car. I also sometimes go shopping and do some painting around the house too.” The man sees himself as a fair patriarch: “The man is the head of the family … he is responsible for ensuring that relationships are equal.”

With the egalitarian concept, on the other hand, compromises often have to be negotiated. The ideal seems to be the distribution of duties using an Excel spreadsheet. “There were conflicts where my girlfriend felt like she cooked more often than I did, which was true,” says one representative of this type. “The way we solved it was that we plan a meal date days in advance. For example, if she cooks three days, I cook three days. Then I think that with a more rigid schedule like this, a more quantifiable schedule, in were able to divide the tasks even more evenly.”

The progressive model, on the other hand, requires a lot of thought, says Justin. “It takes work to be a person who is in an equal relationship. It takes self-reflection, reflection about our society, reflection about what you want as a person, what your partner wants as a person, and it takes a lot of emotional introspection to make a… To build relationships that are equal, security where vulnerability is valued, where intimacy is built in.”

This project is the latest study in a men’s health research program examining the link between masculinity and mental health in men. “We wanted to understand how different types of masculinities affect men’s relationships and their mental health. We found that these male types were associated with both different benefits and challenges. The small project has a big context. Since the Gender roles, identities and relationships are changing rapidly in the 1980s. The discussions are familiar to all, but there is a lack of research on how the change is concretely reflected in relationships.”

Little is known about how younger men work in their personal lives to form relationships today, says Dr. oliffe. The whole research project aims to show a way for healthier relationships to promote the health of men, their partners and their families. Men who are active in gender equality and social justice achieve better mental well-being. Men who challenge current ideals of equality face isolation or criticism from others, which can also impact their mental health. In addition, small glitches came to light in the interviews: egalitarian men, who in principle uphold equality, have difficulties when it comes to actually dividing household chores 50/50.

Quelle: Social Science