Post # 1
I look at men around my parents age, and they are just drastically different from a lot of the guys I know (mid-late 20s) in both personality and ideology, as well as the descriptions from other gals on here about their guys.
It seems like guys now versus the last generation’s men are… well… more in tune, sensitive, like communication is a lot better, and there’s a lot more equality in relationships.
I mean, I’m 26. I’m not 54. So I really have NO experience with the previous generation and relationships sans for what I can just observe with older couples. I wondered maybe it’s an age thing? Maybe guys who seem thoughtful, amicable, empathetic, equality-minded and good communicators now will start letting these qualities slip, and we’ll see the more stereotypical “Man’s man” that seems more prevalent in my father’s generation.
I know every generation is different and contrasts its forerunner somehow, but it was just a thought about how much it is, if it’s true, what will change… etc. Women seem to be quite different as well. So maybe it’s more of a balancing act, and we’re seeing less “extremes” between the two sexes.
What do you all think of this? Are guys really that different now from the prior generation’s guy, or do you think it’s just an age thing? Or both?
Post # 3
@yanamari: I feel there are waves of change. My grandfather and the people in his generation, I find surprisingly forward thinking, open minded, sympathetic and caring towards their women. But my father and uncles are quite selfish, thoughtless, clueless and sexist when it comes to their women. The men in my generation are much more sympathetic – somewhat akin to my grandfather’s generation, although abuse and cheating are rampant, much more these days than in gradfather’s time. I voted that both men and women have changed – I find our generation women to be much more attuned to reality, balanced and overall much more secure than our mothers with their flaky 70s attitude.
ETA: I remember your OBGYN post. You put up some very interesting topics for discussion. My compliments.
Post # 4
My own father is “thoughtful, amicable, empathetic, equality-minded and a good communicator.” He was also very hands-on with child raising. My gut instinct is that our generation is more similar to our parents’ than our parents’ generation was to their parents’. The baby boomers experienced the profound cultural changes of the mid-century which would have separated them from their parents more distinctly than anything that’s happened since then would separate us from ours. But obviously this depends on who you know. I don’t really know many “macho” men of any generation.
I think men in our generation are even more likely to be hands-on fathers, which is great. There is less of a sharp distinction between gender roles and more of a cultural model in the media, etc. for “sensitive” men. On the other hand, men of our generation seem to put off adulthood longer, play too many video games and in general seem less mature and responsible in other ways. And just from posts and polls I’ve seen here it seems like many women are still doing the great majority of the cooking and housework which kind of disturbs me. The ubiquity of porn also seems to be a common stressor on modern relationships that is new to our times.
Society has a tendency to progress in some ways but devolve in others. When people complain about how bad contemporary culture is (trashy reality tv, celebrity sex tapes, the self-absorption of Facebook/blog/Twitter culture, leggings as pants) compared to some mythic previous era of greater civility, they forget about more significant positive changes like movements for civil rights, for equality of the sexes, for LGBT rights, etc. I think the generational changes in the behavior of the average man include things the average woman would see as both positive and negative.
Post # 5
I agree with the statements made about men of our generation being more thoughtful, communicative, etc. However, there is another chracteristic which is symptomatic of our generation (Gen Y), it’a called the “Peter Pan syndrome”, men who avoid commitment and forgoe traditionnal milestones (marriage, children). Of course, women have developped this characteristic as well but I think it’s less prevalent IMO.
Post # 6
@Petite_Fraise: What exactly is wrong with choosing not to marry or have children?… I get that avoiding them because you don’t want to grow up isn’t healthy, but I wonder if it’s actually down to that, or simply because we now have way more choices, and people don’t have to get married or have children any more.
Anyway, I wouldn’t say I’ve noticed any differences personally. My parents are in their 60s, I’m 26, and most of my friend’s parents are in their 50s. Most of the couples I know have very equal relationships: both work, the men are communicative and understanding, etc.
I think if we were talking about people who are now in their 80s, there might be more differences; but I’d say this would largely be down to social/cultural differences eg 60 years ago women rarely worked, and almost always gave up work once the first child was born or once they were married, having children and geting married were barely even choices, etc. Likewise men were expected to be the main breadwinner and to be strong. So I think it’s difficult to compare as those pressures don’t exist so much any more.
Post # 7
@Petite_Fraise: I have never heard of Peter Pan syndrome but I believe it! I keep telling my Fiance that we aren’t getting any younger lol and he just keeps telling me to stop saying that, we are still young (well obviously. we are only 25) but he hangs out with guys that are 30-32, single, and party like they are 20. Yup Peter Pan syndrome.
Post # 8
I view today’s guys in their 20s as very immature and very afraid of commitment whereas guys who are in their 40s or older are much more mature, open to communication and are not afraid to express how they feel.
Post # 9
@yanamari: I think men were gentlemen in previous generations. I find that a lot of “men” are in a perpetual state of youth – self absorbed, lazy, childish. This is a blanket statement and of course is not indicative of all young men. But I do see that most late teens, early 20s, sometimes even late 20s/early 30s guys are just absolute tools! I read an article on e that discussed this….How so many young men graduate college and go back home with mommy and daddy and become unproductive slugs. The article provided somelogic as to why… One issue was the state of the economy, that it’s difficult to find ft employment, get established in a career, etc. It also suggested that women have contributed to the plight of today’s young men…. We’re in the work force now and we’re formidable opponents! There is more competition but their egos are also at stake. Rather than try to succeed and lose out to a woman, they just don’t try at all.
It was an interesting read, not sure how much stock I put in it. Still I think both sexes have drastically changed throughout time…. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. I’m just happy I landed a gentleman!
Post # 10
I think men and women typically change with age. That said, I married an older man so….
Post # 11
Honestly, I believe it has everything to do with how one was raised, ideally. I’m thankful for my catholic SO and how he was raised. He is respectful, honest, and quite a gentleman who treats me like a lady. I feel lucky to have a guy who thinks of other people other then himself.
Post # 12
@JemmaWRX: Haha wow, that article makes men sound like pathetic babies. “Boohoo, I have competition and things are hard, so I’ll give up and pout.”
@Eglantine: My dad is also. I’m not saying that there aren’t guys like that in their generation at all, because there are. My grandpa was like that also. But it seems more prevalent in ours. Like I see my parent’s dads, and they roll their eyes at their moms and blame them for things, “your mother is like blah blah” (to my friends) and seem unsupportive and aloof.
Men DO seem lazier now and more… pathetic, in some ways. Like their overall drive to succeed seems to have decreased. But the economy does play a big role in it… for everyone. We’re the rebound generation. But with the cost of living, and college, and the scarcity of jobs… especially in some more metropolitan areas, it’s nearly impossible unless you luck out and know someone. The Bachelor’s degree is the new Associate’s… -_- Nobody cares. bah. so sad.
Regardless of the reasons… I just wondered how they seem different to everyone
Post # 13
I’m 21, so I will be the first to say that I am in the generation of the ‘Man-Child.’
The guys who think they can act like they are 15 until they turn 30, never seem to have any direction with their lives, hop from job to job if they bother to get a job at all, spend 14 hours a day playing Xbox instead of doing their chores around the house, and feel the need to drink beer until their faces fall off every time they go out? Yeah… those guys are coming out of my generation- you’re all welcome.
I’m being cynical and using hyperbole of course. There are plenty of exceptions (or I would most DEFINITELY not be getting married). But this seems to be the general trend that I see around me.
Post # 14
@barbie86: I agree there is nothing wrong with it. I’m just pointing out that it’s a characteristic of our generation that is different from previous generations. In fact, you are right in saying that it is largely due to the fact that there are more options.
Post # 15
All the guys I spend time around (excluding DH) are 23-26. Most of the older men I know well are people in our families – Father-In-Law, GFIL, my own grandfather, DH’s uncle and my uncles. When they talk about their youth, they sound exactly like the young men I’m around. While I agree that many of the differences listed by PPs are prevalent, the older men have 20, 40, and 60 years on the young ones. Of course as a whole they will be wiser, more responsible, and better at communicating. That doesn’t mean they behaved that way in their 20s. I would say though that based on who I know, the young men are less sexist.
Post # 16
Yeah, I think they feel a lot more secure in who they are and don’t freak out nearly as much if something “threatens their manhood image” such as not being the main breadwinner or being accused of being gay, because of e.g. a sitting posture, or movie they enjoy.
Of course, lots of men still have those hang ups in my generation (early 30s), but many are confident in themselves and can be naturally masculine without being neurotic about preserving some he-man image.