The male perspective

November marked a month of increased focus around men in events such as Movember and International Men’s day. With the recent media attention often geared towards supporting and empowering women, we thought it was important to investigate how men are depicted and feel.

Brits feel that media portrayal has changed over the last year with nearly half (44%) thinking men are now portrayed more negatively. In contrast, over a third (36%) think women are now portrayed more positively.

Male role models are, however, important to many and are often thought as fundamental in child development as well as for ongoing support. This is reflected as 44% feel a male role model is important in their life, although women generally feel male role models are more important to them than men (49% v 39%). Fathers are often thought to be their main male role model, although sadly nearly a third (32%) don’t have a positive male role model in their life.

Having this positive male influence in their life is thought to be good by many. Of those who have a male role model, three in ten are inspired to achieve more (30%) and a fifth (22%) feel increased self-worth as a result. They also tend to think they make them feel happy (36%) and confident (31%).

Despite the strength male roles can exude, over half of Brits (51%) feel one of the biggest issues men are facing today are mental health issues. This follows on from the finding that lack of openness about health issues (41%) and the stress of providing and supporting a family (37%) are also thought to be problems facing men. One in five (20%) even felt that masculinity itself provides issues for men.

The male figure is often seen in a negative light despite the clear importance of a male role model today. There is much misunderstanding and confusion around the male figure both within society as well as for males themselves. Males are portrayed as powerful and arrogant when in fact many are battling with their thoughts of living up to expectations of the typical ‘breadwinner’. A clear paradox which cannot be neglected when good mental health of males is at stake.