Research: Women don’t like modest men

Apparently, research has revealed that women don’t like modesty in a man. Read full study here.

The three female researchers showed more than 200 people videotapes of a man and a woman applying for a job as a computer lab manager.

The male and female actors both followed the same script in the mocked-up interview and were equally humble about their achievements.

The volunteers were asked to rate them for modesty, likeability and a range of other factors. Despite the actors being equally qualified for the job, the man was liked less than the woman.

Meekness makes men seem less confident and ambitious and more weak, uncertain and insecure, the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity reports.

‘Modest men were not liked as much as modest women because they were viewed as ‘too weak’ for a man and because they were viewed as insufficiently confident and ambitious,’ the U.S. researchers wrote.

They said the results showed that while women had been able to change their roles to become more assertive, men still faced prejudice when they tried to change.

Professor Laurie Rudman, of Rutgers University in New Jersey, said: ‘Our findings demonstrate that men encounter prejudice when they behave modestly.

‘They also raise the possibility that men may avoid behaving modestly because they risk backlash when they do.

Changes in gender roles that have afforded women more financial independence have not yielded relaxed demands for men.

Men are still required to uphold masculine ideals that require chronic exhibitions of strength while avoiding signs of weakness.

Professor Rudman added that pressure to be macho can be bad for men’s health.

‘Men are expected to be successful, powerful, and dominant, show no weaknesses or chinks in the armour, and avoid acting in ways that might be perceived as feminine,’ she said.

‘Men’s mental and physical health can suffer from adhering to masculine ideals.’

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Corinne Moss-Racusin, a psychologist who led the study, said:

For men and women, there are things they must and must not be. Women must be communal and other-oriented, but they must not be dominant.

Historically and cross-culturally, men have been stereotyped as more independent and self-focused than women. Women are allowed to be weak while this trait is strongly prohibited in men.

 

Photo: Max Khokhlov

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