Are Men Clueless?
I suspect men really do need to get a better grasp on reality. I mean men in particular and in general. Men seem more incapable of seeing the world though the eyes of others. It’s their way or the highway. Pew Research shows men are less likely to acknowledge other people face discrimination. This ideological blinker is particular strong among white males. While the Pew Research data I’m referring to is for young people ages 15–24 other data shows the blinker is even stronger for older males.
Even where white young men perceive things accurately they do so in smaller numbers. Where 81% of all white youth see discrimination against Muslims 74% of white males do. The numbers are higher for Hispanic young people and Black young people. Over 80% of Hispanic and Black youth say transgender individuals face discrimination, but only 67% of white young males do.
Where 89% of Black youth say Blacks face discrimination only 57% of young wite males say so. 81% of Black youth say gays and lesbians face discrimination, as do 76% of Hispanics, but among young white males it is 61%.
Black youth are more likely than Hispanic youth to say there is discrimination against Hispanics (78% vs. 72%) but only 47% of young white males think Hispanics face discrimination. Black and Hispanic youth both see women as victims of discrimination (70% and 62%) but only 35% of young white males think there is a discrimination problem for women.
When it comes to the almost non-existent discrimination against whites, young white males lead in the pack in believing discrimination is a problem 27%, vs. 15% of Black young people. And 26% of young white males think white men are victims of discrimination, vs. 7% of Black youth and 15% of Hispanic youth.
It seems individuals who have been actual victims of discrimination on a widespread scale (Hispanics, Blacks, women, etc.) are much more able to see others as victims of discrimination than those who had certain privileges and assumptions tied to their race and gender (white males).
Males, of all races, seem blinkered in their self-perceptions, or at least in what they are willing to acknowledge when it comes to sexuality.
Asked to rate themselves are “entirely masculine” or “entirely feminine” males are more likely to claim they are entirely masculine than are females who claim to be entirely feminine. I suspect some of this is because there is an unspoken assumption that “masculine” is superior and feminine is inferior, which makes it easier women to embrace masculine traits than it is for men to embrace feminine ones. Pew reported:
When asked to rate their relative masculinity and femininity, few young men rate themselves as “completely masculine,” and few young women identify as “completely feminine.” Instead, many young men and women locate themselves on a spectrum of masculinity and femininity. Two-thirds (67%) of young men describe themselves as mostly or completely masculine, although only 15% identify themselves as completely masculine. One-quarter (25%) identify themselves as being more mixed in terms of masculinity and femininity. Only seven percent describe themselves as mostly or completely feminine. Young women rate themselves similarly, although they are somewhat less likely to say they are mostly or completely feminine. A majority (56%) of young women describe themselves as mostly or completely feminine, but only 14% identify as completely feminine. Four in ten (40%) identify as mixed in terms of masculinity and femininity. Only three percent of young women identify themselves as being mostly or completely masculine.
The gender chains are even stronger in the Black community where larger percentages cluster at the extremes — or claim to. “Nearly one-third (32%) of black young men say they are completely masculine, while nearly as many (29%) black young women say they are completely feminine. In contrast, only 15% of Hispanic young men, 12% of white young men, and six percent of API young men say they are completely masculine. The pattern is similar among women, with relatively few Hispanic (13%), white (12%), and API young women (four percent) describing themselves as completely feminine.”
Young women feel more restrained by gender stereotypes than young males. Only 17% of men say gender stereotypes prevent them for pursuing what they wish to do, but twice as many young women (38%) are so constrained. Where only 14% of white males says they are constrained by gender stereotypes almost twice as many black males (23%) say they are restricted. All groups says that young men face significant pressure to conform to gender roles, including most men of all racial groups.
And most young people say this pressure leads to undesirable outcomes.
“Half (50%) of all young people say societal pressure to conform to conventional notions of masculinity limits the type of friendships men can have with other men. An identical number (50%) say that this leads men to treat women as weaker and less capable. Close to half (46%) of young people say it encourages sexually aggressive behavior while just as many (46%) say that it encourages homophobic attitudes. Forty-three percent of young people say that pressure to act masculine encourages violent behavior in general. There is greater agreement among young people that pressure to act masculine prevents men from expressing their emotions in healthy ways — 60% agree that it does.”
Among young men 52% say gender stereotypes prevents them from expressing emotions in a healthy way, while 70% of young women think this true of young men. Among young men 44% says these gender roles limit the kind of friendships they can have with other men and 41% say they push them to treat women as weaker and less capable. Substantial percentages of young men say these stereotypes create bad behavior; 37% say it encourages men to be sexually aggressive; 34% say they encourage violent behavior; and 39% say it encourages anti-gay attitudes.
Where 52% of young women say they are feminists only 27% of males are willing to do so. And this seems related to how “masculine” young men perceive themselves. Where half of feminist males say they are completely or mostly masculine, 75% of non-feminist males says they are. Interestingly Hispanic young people are more likely to identify as feminists 62%) than are whites (37%) or blacks (34%). It seems that part of their definition of “completely masculine” rests on opposing equality of rights for women.
When it comes to perceiving ones self as LGBT about 10% of all young people do, compared to 4% of Americans in general. The willingness to be open about such things is clearly greater among the young. But men are still far reluctant to do so than women. Where 14% of young women say they are LGBT only 6% of young males do. Women are almost three times more likely to say they are bisexual (11% vs. 4%) than are males. It seems likely one thing male stereotypes inhibit are the number of young males who are willing to be open about their own sexuality.