Esquire has apparent released a survey indicating that twenty-year-old men are more sexist than their fathers. The linked article offers some great analysis as to why this would be the case. The survey indicates:
- While older men are okay with wives having careers and even being primary breadwinners while fathers stay home with the kids, younger men want the wife at home and the man earning the sole living. Care2 speculates this has to do with either being raised by single moms who had a tough time, or the terrible gender roles for women in the media, which have backslid in recent years. Yes, thank you, anyone else in the universe, for noticing.
- Young men are less supportive of women’s rights to abortion. Care2 blames Bush’s abstinence-only “education” and the lies the far right has spewed forth about abortion in the last ten years.
Very good points – if you assume the survey is reliable. I don’t – primarily because I don’t know precisely how the questions were worded, nor how they assembled their polling group. Surveys can range from very useful to propaganda pieces, so who knows where this one falls.
But there’s another reason, and it’s that in my experience, many men are more sexist at twenty than they will be at thirty or forty. I believe there are several reasons for this:
- Young men are pressured to prove their manhood by, among other things, showing a complete disregard for the humanity of women.
- Because women are so Othered, it’s not that easy for a boy to discover that women are just plain human – unless someone teaches it to him. Boys left to figure it out for themselves often don’t do so until they’re over twenty years old.
- While girls abused by men or rejected by boys are heavily pressured not to “hate all men”, boys abused by women or rejected by girls are encouraged to blame us all for it. Some of these boys eventually work out that not all women are like the ones who hurt him, but usually not until they’re well into their twenties.
Do you find the survey results credible/likely, based on your experience? If so, do you think it’s a generation thing or a youth thing?