27 May 2008
Who’s The Man?? Spike TV Knows
WHO’S THE MAN??
(Spike TV Knows)
New National Men’s Survey Reveals Changing Attitudes Towards Work, Love, Family, Stress And Success
New York, NY, May 27, 2008 – Economic uncertainty, the reality of two-income families, work/life balance and other key issues have men struggling to define what it means to be a man in 2008. With blurred lines of responsibility in virtually every facet of a man’s life, the traditional definitions of what makes a man no longer seem to apply. This year Spike TV the network dedicated to men, conducted a survey among nearly 2,000 Men ages 18-49 to gauge the “State of Men” today. The survey was created to take the pulse of men and reveal an overall point of view. The results of the survey offer insight into how men view their work, their financial responsibilities, their families, their heroes, their entertainment and their overall quality of life in 2008.
“Men are still navigating what it means to be a man today. Our research offers new insights into the complexities and contradictions of being a modern man. Guys now define themselves by their interests and passions, rather than their careers,” says Tanya Giles, Senior Vice President of Research, MTVN Entertainment Group which includes Spike. “As an authoritative voice of men, it is important for Spike to understand the point-of-view of where our audience is coming from.”
Conducted in partnership with national research firm Penn, Schoen & Berland (PSB), Spike TV’s “State of Men 2008” survey revealed a number of distinct findings. The overall theme resulting from the survey is that men are defining themselves by their leisure and home activities, rather than their professions. For example, today’s man is more willing to accept the job of stay-at-home-dad. In fact, nearly three-quarters of men polled said they would be willing to trade in their corporate card to drive carpool. These findings represent a significant increase (+13 points) in prospective “Mr. Moms” versus men surveyed merely four years ago.
While the survey indicates that men have adopted more progressive attitudes regarding work, family, and relationships, men haven’t completely abandoned conventional guy activities or the traditional male mentality. For example, while approximately one third of men surveyed felt that it’s OK for a man to cry, nearly the same percentage of men felt that fighting is an acceptable part of being a guy. Even though more and more men see the value of being a caring father and husband, men still want to wear the pants and do traditional guy things. For example, while most guys feel men should be equal partners at home, a majority also believe men should be the family’s primary breadwinner. And also, just because dad is more likely to turn off baseball to spend quality time with the family doesn’t mean that he will sacrifice his own guy’s night out.
“Time with the guys” still ranked highly as a priority amongst men surveyed this year (78%). The Spike survey indicates that despite the male evolution toward being a more expressive, supportive, and caring father/husband, most men need time on their own and time with their male friends. Technology was another popular outlet men stated for relieving the stresses of everyday life.
Other key findings reveal that today’s men are more likely to prioritize humor over physical appearance, on the list of attributes that they find attractive in women. Do men find Sarah Silverman more attractive than Pamela Anderson? The survey indicates that a lot of men do.
In light of the changing scope of men’s roles, it is of little surprise that the men surveyed struggled to identify who their role models and heroes are. Whereas men in recent years were drawn towards those deemed heroic in pop-culture such as athletes and rock stars as their idols, the men of today are more apt to look up to such everyday heroes such as soldiers, firefighters and police officers.
When men were polled on their stress levels, there was some contradiction amongst respondents. While the majority of men responded that the current economy has them seriously concerned, only one-quarter of the men polled indicated that stress was an issue in their lives, compared to 40% of women.
SPIKE TV’s “State of Men” survey provides unrivalled insights concerning topics that affect all men today:
With women spending more time in the office, men are starting to pick up some of the slack at home. Men have been surprisingly accepting of this change. 73% of fathers would sacrifice an exciting job for more time with their children. 73% of fathers today are also at least “somewhat willing” to be stay at home dads – a 13-point increase from 2004. Of the men surveyed, more than 80% indicated that what defines a man most is being a good husband and father, whereas only 40% indicated that being a good worker is a measure of the man.
“I Need a Hero”
Though men embrace the changing definition of masculinity, adapting to it is not always easy. This has forced men to seek out role models to provide advice on a myriad of issues. 7 out of 10 men stated that they don’t have a useful role model with 44% of men today saying that society doesn’t offer them any relevant role models that speak to them and 30% say they have absolutely no role models and figure things out on their own. 55% say it is harder for them to find role models than it was for their father’s generation. As men search for role models, whom they look up to has changed. Whereas the previous generation of men were drawn to athletes and rock stars, today’s men look up to such everyday heroes as soldiers (86%), firefighters (86%) and police officers (80%).
“Calling all Cougars”
In an age of equal opportunity, the survey reveals that women aren’t the only ones interested in finding an older, wealthier partner. Nearly 90% of the men surveyed indicated that they are comfortable dating someone who earns significantly more than them. This represents an increase of nearly 10% of men who feel this way compared to 2004. Additionally, the notion that men would rather rob the cradle than date a “cougar” is a misconception according to the results of the survey. Guys responded that they are more comfortable dating someone significantly older than they (75%) than someone significantly younger than they are (68%).
“Move over Pamela Anderson…”
The survey reveals that today’s men are drawn to women who can make them laugh potentially favoring funny women over pin-up types. Humor tops the list of attributes that men find attractive in women with 70% of men prioritizing humor compared to 68% of men prioritizing physical appearance.
“Boys Will be Boys”
Men are still spending time with their friends doing traditionally “manly things” such as drinking at a bar, playing video games, or watching TV. However, what guys are talking about during their “guy time” has changed. The men surveyed responded that they are just as comfortable discussing personal problems with their friends (39%) as with their spouses/girlfriends (38%). With increasing expectations being placed on men, now, more than ever, the survey indicates that they crave “guy space” and “guy entertainment” to escape responsibilities and relax. 92% of men agree that a man should be able to have his own private space at home. Besides the traditional outlets, men have found additional ‘guy space’ by utilizing technology. The survey also indicates that technology such as email, Blackberries, the Internet and mobile phones make it easier to balance work and home life for today’s man.
The Internet, where men are free to search out hedonistic content, enables virtual machismo. 59% of men surveyed, find their comments and behavior less constrained online than in real-life social situations. The survey also indicates that men are twice as likely as women to embellish their online profiles.
Penn, Schoen & Berland (PSB) fielded a nationwide online survey for SPIKE among 1,741 adults aged 18-49 years, including 1,306 men and 435 women. PSB also conducted 400 mini surveys among 100 men 18-49, 100 dads of men 18-49, 100 moms of men 18-49, and 100 wives/girlfriends of men 18-49. In Phase 2, PSB conducted a nationwide online survey among 500 men 18-49.
The surveys were conducted online within the United States by Penn, Schoen & Berland on behalf of SPIKE between February 5 and February 11, 2008 among a total of 2,140 adults aged 18 plus. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. With a pure probability sample of 1,741 for the main survey the margin of error at the 95% confidence level is +/- 2.7 percentage points for males and +/- 4.7 percentage points for females. The phase 2 survey was conducted April 18-20, 2008 and the margin of error at the 95% confidence is +/- 4.4%.
About SPIKE TV
Spike TV is available in 96.1 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com.
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