Discover how masculinity has affected men in our society

Our concept of masculinity is changing rapidly in the twenty-first century. As a result, people in our society have a wide range of preconceptions – and possibly misconceptions – about masculinity. We think the idea of masculinity is mostly a social construct that has become ingrained into our society through the perpetuation of stereotypes. It’s important to understand how society accepts or rejects this changing social climate in order to gain a broader understanding of masculinity in the modern era. From the beginning, our suspicion was that people who dated males were motivated by a stereotypical view of masculinity.

We sent out a survey to all student emails at our school to investigate this hypothesis. There are approximately 2600 people at our school and about 200 answered the survey. Despite this high non-response rate, we did get some interesting responses that we would like to share. We found that, of the people we surveyed, 52 percent would not date a man who is shorter than them. Also, 47 percent of people would not date a bisexual man. 48 percent would not date a man who paints his nails. 53 percent would not date a man who wears makeup. We cannot ensure that this sample is representative of our school population, but the results do say a lot about at least a portion of our school.

Although it was surprising to us that 52 percent of the people we surveyed would not date someone shorter than them, it shows that the ideals of our school community are changing if 52 percent of people (of those who date men) would date a man who paints his nails. The change may be gradual, but society is slowly accepting modern concepts of masculinity.

Our society is slowly letting go of the masculine ideals that we’ve held on to for so long, but still people are attracted to a more stereotypical type of man. We think that in order for society to change the way it views masculinity, we each individually have to ask ourselves about our own prejudices about the male gender and why we hold on to them.