Behind the Numbers: The Great Male Survey 2011 Reveals Changing Attitudes and Lifestyles
AskMen.com, the popular men’s site, has just announced the results of its third consecutive annual study of men’s attitudes and lifestyles. More sophisticated than prior studies, The 2011 Great Male Survey and its counterpart done with Cosmopolitan.com (The 2011 Great Female Survey) drew over 80,000 respondents and was strengthened by its work with Ipsos and Reid.
Book of Odds asked David Bassil, the long-time editor of AskMen.com why this study is important. He answered by pointing to the mission of the site, which he summarized as “to help guys become better men.” Consistent with this mission, the survey asked illuminating questions about values and lifestyle.
Here are some examples:
Do you believe in the institution of marriage? 30% of respondents in US said no or that it wasn’t for them. No wonder women complain the pool of eligible men seems to be leaking.
Would you be in a relationship with a woman who has a higher income than you? 85% said, “Yes, it wouldn’t bother me,” and another 8% said they already were in such a relationship.
What is the ultimate male status symbol? 39% of US respondents said “a family.” David Bassil pointed out that the women in the Cosmo version of the survey answered most often “a beautiful house.”
We asked David what he found most interesting in the survey this year, and he said it was the impact of the sour economy on men’s attitudes and lifestyles. For example compared to prior years, men reported having fewer credit cards and saving more. Even grooming habits have changed, with fewer steps in the male grooming regimen than in past, more carefree years. Values regarding careers have also changed. Stability and career growth trumped more salary now.
The more refined methodology of the survey also permitted comparisons of cohorts . When the “Millennials—“those between 30 and early adolescence -- were compared to those of earlier generations, the differences were striking. “Their values are closer to those of their grandparents than their parents,” said Bassil. “They are less focused on money and more on traditional values.”
They are also darker in their outlook, at least to judge by their answer to the question: Which superhero would you want to be? The Millennials wanted to be the dark, angst-ridden Batman. The earlier cohorts went with the nigh invincible Superman. Maybe it’s the Batmobile, but who can pass up x-ray vision?
Two results stood out for us.
One was further evidence of the de-gendering of activities. When asked “who would win a in a cooking competition between you and your partner?” more men with partners said they would win, not she.
The other was the answer to “How should America Reboot the Economy?” Save money on budget cuts was the number one answer with 35% of the total. 17% answered “revolution!” What flavor revolution was not specified, but this last resort was favored over the Keynesian “spend more money, such as on stimulus.”
An interesting survey, worth exploring, and seemingly headed in the right direction in methodological terms. One looks forward to next year’s.